Home-made Playing Dough for Children


Keeping kids busy with toys or games is not easy...not worrying about their safety when they are super busy playing on their own is another important point. They might ask for some toys and strange items suddenly and start to cry or fuss if not given. My Child asks for playing dough whenever she feels irate, or when she comes home from School with a complaint. I can't run to the store to buy it everytime...here is what i did recently with Maida...if she needs a white colored clay, then Maida as-is color works but when she asks for a colored version then initially when i didnot have food colors at home, i soaked a Washable Crayon in water, made a paste of it and mixed in the dough, then tried mixing non-toxic water colors in the dough...later decided to research on some not-so-chemicals included food colors to mix them in the dough. Just a teaspoon or two of Beetroot juice, carrot juice, spinach juice or a drink mix powder work well too. This home-made clay maynot last longer if left outside and may dry out. When kept in the refrigerator in a covered container, they last for a couple of days.

No Cook Method:
We need:
2 cups Maida ( all purpose flour)
1/2 cup water
2 tbsps cooking oil
3/4 cup salt
A pinch or more of desired food color ( amount based on the tone or tint of color desired)

In a wide bowl, pour the flour and salt, with oil. Mix well and now slowly add water and keep mixing. Just when you know the dough is enough loose for moulding purpose, stop mixing water. Kneading the dough is just the sae way as we do for chapathis or puris. Add food color when you have mixed the water and flour well. You can make small balls of this colored dough and keep in an air tight container or a ziploc bag in the fridge. Add glitter if your child likes.



Cooking Method:
We need:
2 cups Maida
1 cup salt
2 tsp cooking oil
4 tsp cream of tartar
2 cups water
A pinch or more of the desired food color
A thick pan


In a wide bowl, mix well these ingredient- flour, salt, cream of tartar, cooking oil. Heat a thick bottom pan on medium heat. Pour the flour mixture and then water slowly to the flour, stirring continuosly to avoid lumps. Once the water mixes well to make it a soft dough, add the food color. Make sure the items dont burn. Keep the heat medium. After the whole dough becomes soft and pulls away from the edges, turn off the heat. Bring the pan off the burner, aside and transfer to another vessel. The texture should be soft and smooth to make balls. Let it cool. Store in an air-tight bag or container for few weeks. You dont need to refrigerate this as it is processed on heat.

The above methods involve high amount of salt usage, and hence the dough is not meant for consumption by Children. Kindly teach your children to not eat them by mistake or for curiosity sake. Maida is a form of wheat, hence Children with Gluten allergies should be monitored when playing with this dough or avoid giving it. Playing with colorful dough is fun for adults too...you can have a better family time if spent making dolls and figurines with your children !!


... Prathyusha