Updated: Dec 20, 2020
Playdough is very easy to make and is very fun to play with. All of the ingredients used in homemade playdough are commonly used in the kitchen. Flour, salt, water and oil are usually used in muffins, cookies, bread and many other recipes. When one of these ingredients is left out of a baking recipe, it will change the end product.
For example, too much flour will give you a dry cookie and too much butter (a fat like oil) will give you a cookie that is spread out and thin. But there is more to this playdough than meets the eye. Just like in baking, there is chemistry at play in the creation of playdough. When the salt and flour are mixed together, a mixture is created. This means that the two substance have been physically combined, but no reaction has taken place. When the water and the food colouring are mixed, a solution is formed. This means that the two liquids have completely mixed. However, a solution is not formed when the oil and water mix. Oil is a fat and this means that the particles are held together tightly. It is hydrophobic, or ‘water fearing’, and will not mix with the water.
When you combine all of the ingredients together you get a completely different substance than when you started. This is because of the chemical reactions that have taken place between all of the ingredients.
3 cups of flour
1 ½ cups of salt
3 tablespoons of oil
3 cups of water
In a mixing bowl, add the flour and the salt. Stir them together.
In another bowl, add the oil and water.
Optional: if you want to add food colouring, first add it to the water, and then add in the oil!
Add the water, oil and optional food colouring mixture into the flour and salt mixture and stir.
Once all the water has been absorbed, knead the mixture with your hands. Knead the dough until a ball forms by pulling away from the sides.
Knead until the texture matches play dough (1-2 minutes).
Store in a plastic container. Should last for ~3 months.