Have children or close relatives who like to play play dough? Play dough, or what Indonesian people call plasticine, is actually a toy that can be easily made at home. Although most of the play dough recipes include cream of tartar as one of the main ingredients, the traditional play dough recipe only lists a few ingredients that must be readily available in your kitchen, namely flour, salt, water, and oil. If you want, play dough can also be made from a mixture of only two ingredients, namely conditioner and cornstarch. To make the color more interesting, add food coloring or Kool-Aid powder!
Using Conditioner and Cornstarch
- 120 ml conditioner
- 120 grams of cornstarch
- Food coloring
- Glitter (optional)
Using Wheat Flour, Salt, and Oil
- 120 grams of all-purpose flour
- 75 grams of table salt
- 180 ml water
- 3 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 4-5 drops of food coloring or 2 packs of Kool-Aid powder
Method 1 of 2: Making Play Dough from a Mix of Conditioner and Cornstarch
Step 1. Pour 120 ml of conditioner into a bowl
Choose a conditioner that smells good to you, and because the color of the play dough depends on the color of the conditioner you use, choose a conditioner that you like. If you want to make your own color, use white conditioner.
Use any brand of conditioner. Usually, inexpensive conditioners will actually give the best results!.
Step 2. Add a little food coloring, if desired
Start by adding 1-2 drops of food coloring, then knead the dough until the color is evenly distributed. If the intensity is not according to your taste, increase the amount of food coloring used. If you are using a colored conditioner but the resulting color is less intense, add food coloring that is the same color as the conditioner.
Step 3. Add glitter to make the play dough color more shiny
If you want, you can use glitter that is the same color as your conditioner or food coloring, or you can use glitter of a different color. To perfect the appearance of play dough, you should use a very fine textured glitter. However, you can also use glitter with a larger grain, if you prefer. Start by using a pinch of glitter, then increase the amount, if necessary.
Step 4. Add 120 grams of cornstarch
At first, the dough will feel crumbly. However, do not worry because the longer the dough is kneaded, the more flexible the texture will be. Once the texture begins to resemble frosting, quickly transfer it to a clean, flat surface or cutting board.
Don't have cornstarch or have trouble finding it on the market? Try replacing it with cornstarch
Step 5. Knead the dough and add a measure of cornstarch, if desired
The longer the dough is kneaded, the denser the texture will be. Therefore, just knead the dough for about 1 minute. If the texture feels too sticky when kneading, add a sufficient amount of cornstarch.
If the texture of the dough feels too dense or dry, add a little conditioner to it and keep kneading the dough until it reaches the desired texture.
Step 6. Store the play dough in a plastic container
Do this so that the texture of the dough remains soft and does not dry out when played.
Method 2 of 2: Making Play Dough from a Mixture of Wheat Flour, Salt and Oil
Step 1. Combine water, lemon juice, and oil in a large enough saucepan
First, pour 180 ml of water into the pot, then add 3 tbsp. lemon juice and 1 tbsp. vegetable oil into it. Stir all ingredients until well mixed.
You can Use freshly squeezed lemon or factory-made lemon juice.
If you're using freshly squeezed lemon, don't forget to strain the pulp and seeds first!
Step 2. Warm the mixture of water, lemon juice, and oil over medium heat until it is almost boiling
Place the pot on the stove, then turn the stove on to medium heat. Let all the ingredients warm up slowly.
Step 3. Add food coloring or Kool-Aid powder to the pan
Pour about 4-5 drops of food coloring into the pan to make the play dough more colorful. If you want to add color and fragrance, try using 2 packs of powdered Kool-Aid. Meanwhile, if you want to produce a very strong color and aroma, feel free to use a mixture of both!
- Adjust the amount of food coloring and Kool-Aid to the intensity of the color you want to produce.
- Make sure you only use Kool-Aid which is free of sweeteners so the play dough doesn't get too sticky.
Step 4. Combine flour and salt in a separate bowl
Pour 120 grams of all-purpose flour into a bowl, then add 75 grams of table salt. Stir the two using a spoon.
- Use all-purpose white flour, not whole wheat flour.
- Use table salt, not sea salt or coarse rock salt.
Step 5. Slowly pour the flour mixture into a saucepan of liquid ingredients
Make sure to keep stirring the solution as you slowly pour in the flour so that the play dough doesn't end up clumping together or getting too tough.
Step 6. Keep kneading until a thick, rounded dough forms
While stirring, all the dry ingredients will absorb the wet ingredients. As a result, sooner or later the dough will be rounded like a ball. Once this condition is reached, which means that all the wet ingredients have been well absorbed, stop the stirring process.
- If the texture of the solution is too sticky, flatten the dough in the bottom of the pan and let it rest for a few seconds. After that, turn the dough over and do the same. Keep doing this until the play dough reaches the desired consistency.
- Don't overcook the dough! Remember, the texture of the dough will harden when cooled.
Step 7. Knead the play dough for 1-2 minutes to complete the process
Place the dough on the wax paper. If the temperature is still too hot, let the dough rest for a few minutes. Then, knead the dough for 1-2 minutes to complete the process.
Step 8. Let the play dough cool down before storing it in the refrigerator
After the temperature of the play dough is no longer hot, please put it in an airtight plastic container and store the container in the refrigerator. Specifically, for one play dough recipe, you will need to prepare a 500 ml plastic container.
Although not mandatory, storing play dough in the refrigerator will increase its shelf life
- Add a few drops of essential oil to make the play dough smell better. In particular, peppermint or lavender scented essential oils are the perfect choice!
- Sometimes, simply putting the play dough into a plastic clip bag is not enough. Therefore, try wrapping the play dough in a sheet of plastic wrap before placing it in a plastic clip bag.
- It's best not to add glitter to a play dough recipe that contains Kool-Aid. Remember, Kool-Aid has a very delicious aroma that is prone to being put into the mouth by children who play with it. Add glitter only if you're sure the kids playing it won't.
- If you have a gluten allergy, try using rice flour instead of wheat flour. However, understand that the texture of play dough made from wheat flour and rice flour is definitely different.
- The addition of cocoa powder will make the play dough smell like delicious chocolate. However, always remember that later on, the color of the play dough will also turn brown!
- To make the play dough smell even better, try adding a pleasantly scented essence or extract, such as strawberry, lemon, or vanilla.
- Do not add glitter to the play dough dough that will be played by small children.
- When making play dough with young children, you should always use recipes that do not require cooking and ingredients that are free of toxic chemicals.
- Basically, any kind of play dough will harden or expire at some point. If you feel that the play dough is starting to smell bad or it doesn't look as good as usual, throw it away and make a new play dough.