I cannot tell you how many times I have gone to make a batch of homemade play dough, and halfway through found out that we were completely out of cream of tartar, or realized that the food dyes are in the basement, or knocked out half of the baking cupboard to get to the flour.
(I’m a total mess.)
Putting together a homemade play dough kit is such a simple idea that has saved me so much time and energy. Having all of the supplies ready-to-go makes it more likely that I will actually want to make play dough when the kids start asking!
The only thing missing from this kit is the flour and oil — I used to have a small bottle of vegetable oil that I refilled and kept in the kit, but I’ve found keeping a big jug under the sink with the cleaning vinegar works for me. And the flour, I started filling my small ceramic jars that decorate my counter with flour to make it accessible, however you could pre-measure out 2.5 cup increments into ziploc bags and keep it in the kit.
In this kit, I keep the basics for my standard no-cook play dough recipe. Sometimes, we do a special variation (like our marshmallow play dough), but for the most part we always need salt and cream of tartar. I’ve also started adding glycerin to our play dough recipes to make them shinier and stretchier — if your play dough flakes, glycerin can fix that.
I also keep way too many scent options — in the form of Kool-aid, extracts, and essential oils. We’ve tried Jell-O and Frosting Creations, but they aren’t really “standard kit material.”
Though I sometimes use liquid food colouring, or even natural colouring from plants and fruits, I prefer gel food dyes — you need a lot less to achieve the colours that you want, which also means you’re not changing the texture of the food by adding too much liquid. I bought this pack 3 years ago and am not even halfway done any of the colours.
What are your homemade play dough essentials?
PS — if you haven’t already, you should check out our main Play Dough page.