My kid eats Play-doh. (an all natural play dough recipe)

 **This is a past post from my radio blog…I’m posting them on here now so you can find them in the archives!

My kid eats play-doh.

No matter how many times I tell her no she still sneaks a lick as soon as I turn my back. It wouldn’t be very fair to Sam if I banned all doh from the house & I can’t very well give it to one and not the other so I figured why not make an all-natural play-doh that if she does take a chomp out of it’ll just be flour, water & salt. (mostly)

Below is my recipe for play-doh (you can find 100′s online, I like this combination however), photos of our endeavor and some video evidence of Sophie Monster. Enjoy.

“Hey Soph, don’t eat the play-doh, ok?”

“Don’t be sad. Just don’t eat it.”

Two minutes later.

“Sophie no!”

“Noo, don’t pout little one. Just DON’T EAT THE DOUGH.”

Two more minutes, she waited until I was talking with Sam…


“C’mon babe.”

She’s like an addict who gets bummed when she falls off the wagon.

Homemade Play-Dough (feel free to cut this recipe in half for one child’s portions)

  • 4 cu white flour
  • 4 cu warm water
  • 2 cu fine salt
  • 2 tbs cream of tartar (optional but adds elasticity)
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • food coloring

Combine all ingredients in a pot and continously stir over medium low heat until dough is no longer sticky & has thickened generously. If you think it’s done but then find your dough to be sticky it’s not done. Keep stirring over low heat until you think you’re arm is going to fall off. This stuff is THICK. Let cool a bit and then scoop it onto your counter-top. Knead in a few drops of food coloring to each ‘ball’ until you get your desired shades.

Here’s a quick video showing  you the consistency the dough should be when it’s done…

A few things to note…

Store finished dough in an airtight container and it should stay good for a week or two.

Although I tried an all natural food coloring (made from vegetable colorants) it really didn’t work well for this project. Even with a ton of dye the color vibrancy didn’t come to close to brightness the regular grocery store brand food dyes. Ah well. A for effort.

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  1. I know. Don’t you hate when you’ve made a fun activity for your kids and you turn into the no mom? Which quickly diminished their creativity and their attitude. I love activities you can let them be kids. And so what if they eat some non toxic play dough. I actually think that once they try a piece of it, they’ll decide it’s not all that yummy! lol

    • Natasha

      You would think so wouldn’t you?? I guess my kid loves herself some salt because she will NOT STOP.

      But you’re right, it’s not the end of the world and sometimes (a lot of times) it’s just not worth yelling at them

  2. BBB

    You know, if you are ever too tired to come up with a blog idea just post pictures and videos of your kids. They are crazy cute and entertaining. Also, as I know you are well aware, Sophie is Peter’s mini-me, it’s insane.

    • Natasha

      Aw thanks, sometimes I wonder if people are like ok, you’re kids are cute but seriously enough already. You’re comment makes me feel better that’s it’s not just me who likes to see cute pics of them (:

  3. Brittany

    lol! I love the Sophie story! That is sooo my youngest son! My kids are three and almost two and the little is ALWAYS sneaking play doh when I’m not looking.

  4. Derrick D'Souza

    Hey Nat,

    Loved your blog write up, Sophie is an awesome monster…she is doing what every kid in the world would do…. explore things using oral stimulation at that age…. probably because its the most developed sensory organ….and 10/10 to you for taking the effort and the time to look for recipies, cook them and offer them to your little ones. My other half would go- If its available; why go through the effort of making it- If he ate a little bit it wouldnt be the end of the world).
    I came across it whilst researching for ingredients in commercial Play dough and looking for information, if kids ate stuff like that. I am researching on the feasability of creating hypoallergenic commercial play dough recipe, containing only natural organic food ingredients and which would be gluten free. It has proved painstakingly difficult to get it in to a box.. Yep.. considering everyone wants a cheap product that keeps for ever.
    I have been a chef for almost two decades and have now decided to pursue food science research, I have a son who is almost eleven years old but never had the opportunity to play with commercial play dough because he would play with bread dough and cookie dough’s.
    I am writing to you to request use of Sophie’s photos in my project proposal presentation to indicate the dilema parents go through in considering (exposure to synthetic, non toxic chemicals from products other than food at a very early age) the best available option for their children. Although it cannot be used as scientific evidence; it does highlight the issue in prespective and will best support my research data through implicit association.
    Look forward to hearing from you,

    • Natasha

      Hi Derrick, I love what you’re doing & totally think there’s a great need for it! Yes, you may use the pictures from the blog, please credit where the photos came from & please keep in touch & let me know how it goes!


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