When I was heavily pregnant with #2, all I wanted was an activity that Miss 2 could do by herself, whilst I lazed on the couch in peace (yes, wishful thinking I know). So, I asked my Mama for her advice. As someone who’s successfully run two childcare centres for more than two decades, who could be better placed to help me come up with a toddler-approved and fuss-free activity.

Without even skipping a beat, Mama asked if we had a few staple ingredients in the cupboard:

½ cup salt

1 cup plain flour

2 tbsp cream of tartar

1 cup water

1 tbsp oil (any will do)

food colouring

To my surprise, we actually had cream of tartar hiding at the bottom of the cooking box (who knows how old that was – but it worked). So off I went, tossed all of the dry ingredients into a pot, mixed the wet ingredients together and gently combined the two together, then cooked on a medium heat on the stove for about 5 minutes and ta dah! We had the softest, cloud-like playdough that was a total hit. It was soft enough for Miss 2 to pull apart and roll out with a rolling pin all by herself (one of my main gripes with store-bought playdough!)

Fast-forward to today and after a morning spent at the park, Miss 3 was desperate for a midday activity whilst I had the joy of folding the washing (whoever said being an adult was fun). So off we went into the pantry and within less than 10 minutes, we had a beautiful batch of super soft playdough ready to go. This time we added a few drops of orange essential oil and the smell was absolutely divine.

Miss 3 had an absolute blast rolling her new playdough out with her mini rolling pin and using the WMBT Stampies to create the most magical Safari-inspired play scene. We’ll store it in an air-tight container in the fridge, and it will last for at least a month or two.

November 05, 2022 — Michelle Leach

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