Trial and Error with Play Dough

February 26, 2014

Pinterest Play Dough Recipe

Since my daughter turned one last April, I have been pinning like crazy different recipes of play dough. There are (too) many to choose from that are edible, some require cooking, and others are no cooking recipes. I aim for the easiest of it all and since I prefer cooking as little as possible; I found this great recipe at Fun at Home with Kids.

I had everything the recipe called for in my kitchen and so I thought I’d share with you my process and thoughts on making it. The pictures provided for this post are my second attempt at making the play dough. Our first time was on February 15 and my girls only played with it for about 5 minutes before moving on. But I did do some things different each time and I will share what I liked and what I didn’t.

First you will need:

  • Baby Cereal (1 cup)
    • The original recipe said rice cereal, but I only had oatmeal. It still works!
  • Vegetable Oil (3 Tablespoons, Tbs)
    • I just used Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Cornstarch (1 cup) or Gluten Free Cornflour
    • I’m not sure if its corn flour, but the second test I used Almond Flour.
  • Unsweetened Applesauce (1 – 2 packs) or water
    • The first attempt I used about 1.5 packs of applesauce. The second time I only used one, but it was strawberry flavored.
  • Food coloring (optional)
    • I think my food coloring must be bad because it hasn’t blended well with any of the projects I’ve done in the past couple years… then again it may be about 5 years old…yikes!
Bowl, measuring cups, measuring spoons

Bowl, measuring cups, measuring spoons

applesauce, cornstarch, baby cereal, almond flour, vegetable oil, and food coloring

applesauce, cornstarch, baby cereal, almond flour, vegetable oil, and food coloring

First Batch/Attempt:

On my first trial of the play dough I used cornstarch instead of almond flour, about 1.5 packs of applesauce, and added red food coloring. Because this is edible, I tried it before my girls did just to make sure it wasn’t yuck! It actually was bland at first and had a sweet after taste from the applesauce. I thought the cornstarch would make it cakey, but it was really smooth in texture. Also I initially added only one applesauce pack (1/2 cup), but it wasn’t mixing well. I added ½ of the second cup and mixed slowly. The instruction from Fun at Home with Kids says to either add more flour or water depending on dry or wetness. Overall it was easy to mold in my hands and the babies loved playing with it. My only fail was the food coloring. As you can see from the picture below, it didn’t blend well for me. I think either the food coloring is expired or I mixed it in at the wrong time.

I had this in the fridge since I made it on the 15th and opened it up again on the 25th. 10 days is truly too long for its shelf life. It had a smell when I opened the container, so I threw it in the trash immediately. I will watch more closely with the second batch when it starts to turn.

First batch made 2/15/14, food coloring not blended well

First batch made 2/15/14, food coloring not blended well

Second Batch/Attempt:

My second attempt I changed a few things. I used almond flour instead of cornstarch, no food coloring, and I used strawberry flavored applesauce (that’s all I had). My thought process was that if I used already colored applesauce, it may help turn the color of the play dough more pink-ish. Nope! I think because I used almond flour, which is much heavier in texture than the fine cornstarch; my plan failed again. But then again, it may have just not worked because it wasn’t food coloring… uh. Yea, here is the step by step pictures I took. Pretty self explanatory and please refer to original post for all the details.

PD steps1

PD steps2

I used alphabet cookie cutters. My little bunny is really into her letters as of late. Although she is starting to call almost all her letters “W” which she learned from her daddy. Its OK though, she’ll have fun playing with all her “W’s” in the play dough.

PD steps3

Hope my trial and error in play dough making helps you make yours better the first or second time. I always like to see the trials and what needed to be fixed. Anytime I attempt a recipe through Pinterest, it doesn’t always work out perfectly for me the first time.

Thanks for reading along. I’ll be posting a DIY tutorial this Friday.

Sherie Signature


–          Fun at Home with Kids

–         My Pinterest

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