Playdough–stovetop (cream of tartar)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • (a few drops liquid food coloring if desired)

In a medium pot, mix flour, salt and oil, and slowly add the water (and food coloring, if used). Cook over medium heat, stirring until dough becomes stiff. Cool. Knead until it’s the proper consistency. Store in airtight container.

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Playdough–stovetop (alum)

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon powdered alum (available in the grocery store spice aisle)
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • liquid food coloring, if desired

Mix all dry ingredients in a medium pot. Add oil, water and food coloring. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is the consistency of mashed potatoes. Remove from heat and let rest until cool enough to knead until smooth. Store in airtight container.

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Playdough-no cook

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tbsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tbsp. oil

Mix all ingredients well with a spoon and knead to finish. Store in an airtight container.

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Bakeable Salt Dough

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 to 1 ½ cups cold water
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

Mix all ingredients well until dough forms a soft ball, then knead well. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Roll or shape dough with fingers, cookie cutters, or other tools. If you need a hole for hanging, use a straw to poke a hole in flat objects or use a toothpick to create a hole. Bake in the oven at 300 degrees for twenty minutes or until hard. Once dry, paint objects or color with markers. Use mod podge or spray gloss to add shine.

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  • 2/3 cup Joy* dishwashing soap
  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of glycerine (available at drugstores)

Mix ingredients in large plastic bowl or tub. Store in covered container. *Various recipes call for different brands of dishwashing soap. If you use another, you may need to adjust the other quantities to get the right consistency.

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Ooey Gooey

  • Liquid starch (found in the grocery store laundry aisle)
  • School glue (such as Elmer’s white glue)
  • liquid food coloring, if desired

Mix equal parts liquid starch and glue until it forms a rubbery consistency, then knead to blend well. Store in a cool airtight container. If you want colored ooey gooey, only add a few drops of the liquid food coloring and add it to the starch before mixing with the glue. Too much food coloring will stain children’s skin and clothing. Use with a smock or apron and away from carpet and upholstered surfaces.

To remove ooey gooey from clothes and fabric, pull off large pieces (don’t rub or smear), then set the item in a freezer until the ooey gooey hardens and can be “cracked” off. Or, remove all possible ooey gooey with a plastic scraper, then work white vinegar into the stain to dissolve the remaining substance. May need to repeat. Don’t dry the clothing in the dryer until all the ooey gooey is removed.

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Mix one part water and two parts cornstarch until you have a slimy, slippery substance. If you squeeze it in your hands, it acts like a solid, putty substance but if you pull at it or let it spread out, it acts like a liquid. (If you haven’t seen goop in action before, here’s a youtube video that shows what it’s like.) Store in an airtight container.

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Washable Window Paint
Add just a few drops of dishwashing soap to tempera or acrylic paint before painting on a window with it. It will make the paint much easier to remove.

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Clean Mud*

  • 6 rolls whitetoilet paper
  • 2 bars Ivory soap
  • water
  • 1 1/2 cups Borax* (in the grocery store laundry aisle)

Have kids unroll 6 rolls of white bathroom tissue paper into a large plastic tub. Generously add water until toilet paper is covered. Grate 2 bars of Ivory soap into mixture, then add Borax and mix well. Use sand molds, scoops, and other tools to shape and play with this clean mud. Store with an airtight lid; discard when mud is dirty or has an off odor.
*Because this compound has soap and Borax, it’s not appropriate for kids who still put non-food items in their mouths.

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