Playdough has been the favorite squishy substance of many toddlers all over the world for years! The Play- Doh® that we all know and love was accidentally invented by Joseph and Noah McVicker in 1955 while the two were trying to make wallpaper cleaner. Play-Doh® was marketed a year later by a toy manufacturer, and the rest is history! But, now, you can make homemade nontoxic playdough with things that you have in your kitchen!
Nontoxic modeling clays, like playdough varieties, are a great tool for toddlers to help improve their fine motor skills, imagination and creativity, according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). When playing with playdough, the small muscles in your kiddos’ fingers will be strengthened, developing fine motor skills. These tiny hand muscles will go on to help your child write, brush their teeth and even play guitar one day. The more your child stretches, pokes, pulls and smashes the playdough, the better! Playing with playdough also helps develop a strong sense of imagination and creativity. The NAEYC says that playing with playdough will help your child “learn symbolic thinking by pretending that the playdough is something else.” So, when your child tells you that the long, rolled out piece of playdough that they made is actually a snake, you’ll know that they are on the right track.
Playdough varieties can be found in every toy store and online, or you could just make your own at home! With just a couple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen, you can make your child some homemade, nontoxic playdough that will keep them happy for hours… or until they find another toy that they want to play with!
HOMEMADE NONTOXIC PLAYDOUGH
1⁄2 cup of water
1⁄2 cup of salt
1 teaspoon of neutral oil (vegetable, coconut, grapeseed, etc.) 1 1⁄2 to 2 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1. In a large bowl, combine water, salt, oil and a few drops of food coloring to make a bright color.
2. Gradually stir in the sifted flour into the mixture until it becomes a thick, playdough-like consistency (this may take more or less flour). Now, the playdough is ready to play with! When the playdough is not being used, store it in a covered bowl or wrap it in plastic wrap.