Making Homemade Playdough

A few weeks ago, munchkin was looking for red playdough to make strawberries. We had a few other colors at home, but red was all gone. I told munchkin that I’ll be ordering more, but she’ll need to wait a few days for it to arrive. That didn’t stop her from repeatedly asking for red playdough for the next half hour. She’s pretty stubborn. She also thinks mommy can somehow make anything out of thin air. Then I suddenly remembered seeing homemade playdough recipes floating around the internet. Oh, perhaps I can make it myself? I first tried the most simple recipe with just flour, salt, and water. I then colored the dough with watercolor paints we had at home. The dough came out similar to playdough but was a bit mushy. The biggest issue was that when put into a small mold, it got stuck in the mold. We couldn’t make playdough strawberries that day, but I liked the idea of making homemade playdough. I searched for an alternative recipe and ordered the ingredients I didn’t have at home- cream of tartar and food coloring.

Yesterday, we tried making playdough again. This time, I used this recipe, which required a little more work and ingredients but had rave reviews. Long story short, it came out perfect. It felt just like fresh playdough and passed the mold test.

Making the playdough doesn’t have to be another chore for mommy either. Munchkin helped me color the dough, and she had so much fun doing that. It’s an art and craft project in itself. Many of the memories I have around early childhood are of watching my mom or grandma making something. I remember mom making my brother and me a DIY Halloween costume one time. I can still see her cutting an old t-shirt with scissors in my mind. I also remember her making a cake. She used a boxed cake mix, and in my memories, the color of the box was red. I remember grandma making dumplings from scratch, making traditional Korean cookies, and dying my finger nails with flowers (봉숭아꽃.) These memories are what give me a fussy warm feeling about my childhood. I hope munchkin would remember making playdough with mommy with the same kind of fondness.

mango, pineapple, orange, buttered pasta, and cucumber

When Sweet Pea woke up from her nap, she joined the table to play. I fixed up a snack platter for them to share while playing. Another good thing about homemade playdough is that I don’t feel concerned about them eating traces of playdough- it’s made of edible ingredients.

I saved the playdough in plastic bags for another day. How neat is that?

Who am I kidding, though? Sweet Pea took out all the playdough and kindly put the bags in the trash. Next time, I’ll store the playdough somewhere in the upper cabinet and give them just enough to play for one day. That way, I can discard the used-up playdoughs and give them the clean ones every time. I like that idea.

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