Another Snow Day! Need to Keep Your Kids Busy? Make Your Own Play Dough, Paint & Oobleck

playdoughHere are some recipes for quick homemade play dough, paint & oobleck.   They can be a big help entertaining kids during wintery -weather or while overcoming illness.

Homemade Play Dough

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 cups cold water
Food coloring

1.  In a medium saucepan, mix together the flour, salt, vegetable oil, cream of tartar, and water.

2.  Cook uncovered over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Stir constantly until the dough is the consistency of play dough.

3.  Divide the dough into four equal portions.

4.  Add 6-8 drops of food coloring to each portion and knead or mix the color into the dough to distribute it evenly.

5.  Store the play dough in a plastic bag or airtight container, it will stay nice and soft for a period of time.

fingerpaintHomemade Washable Paint

2 Tbsp sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 cups cold water
1/4 cup liquid dish soap
Food coloring

1.  In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk to combine.

2. Gradually pour in the cold water and whisk. Set heat to medium and stir occasionally.

3. Once the mixture begins to bubble, turn heat to low.

4. Whisk constantly until mixture is thickened and gel-like.  Remove from heat and let cool completely, whisking occasionally.

5.  Once cooled, stir in dish soap.

6. Divide mixture into small airtight containers, one for each color you want to have. Add food coloring into each container and mix well. Use immediately or cover and use later.

A brief note – these colors are not as bright and vibrant as store-bought, but are inexpensive and great to make a mess with.


3 1/2 cups of water
15 drops of food coloring (your choice)
2 boxes of corn starch

1.  In a bowl or measuring cup, mix about 15 drops of food coloring and 3 1/2 cups of water.

2.  Place 2 boxes of corn starch in a large bowl and add the colored water to it.  Note:  Reserve about 1/3 cup of the water since all corn starches do not yield the same consistency mixture.

3.  Mix with your hands, it will be messy, but easy.  It mixes best if you continually lift from the bottom.

4.  The mixture is the right consistency if it feels fairly firm when you press it on the top, but yet pours from your hands as you hold it.   You can add more colored water or cornstarch to adjust the consistency as you play with it.

5.  Try pouring it from one container to another, mixing it with a sturdy spoon, and putting it into a baggy to see what happens to it – kids will be able to experiment endlessly with it!