Playdough has been a firm favourite with toddlers and young children for generations. You'll be pleased to know that making it is simple.
All you need are a few cheap, store cupboard ingredients. When you see for yourself how cheap and easy it is to make your own, you'll realise that the mark-up on shop-bought playdough is often astronomical.
You will need:
- 150g (6oz) plain white flour
- 300ml (1/2 pint) water
- 4 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp cream of tartar (this is what keeps your dough nice and springy rather than stiff and crumbly)
- food dye (optional)
If you're using food dye to give your dough a bright colour, just add a few drops to the water before you start.
To make, simply combine the ingredients in a pan over medium heat on the hob. Keep stirring steadily until the paste thickens into dough (you can add water or flour if you think your mixture is too thick/thin), then remove from heat.
Once the dough has cooled down, simply turn it out onto a chopping board and knead it to make sure it's smooth.
Ready to play! Just remember not to let your toddler eat it!
Most recipes call for the dough to be cooked on the hob until it thickens, but you can avoid the oven altogether by using just-boiled water and combining all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, stirring as above.
Exposure to air makes playdough dry out and harden, so remember to store it in a airtight box or ziplock bag if you want it to last. Kept in the right conditions, it should last for several months (although it might be full of crumbs and dog hair before then!).
More on Parentdish: How to make salt dough Christmas decorations