Sunday, May 16, 2010

Play time at koolaman

Sometimes I can be a 'bad mum'! The one that doesn't have paints in the house and the craft box is packed away because the mess last time was too much to cope with. After all isn't that what playgroup and pre-school are for anyway! Besides, we have a backyard as big as a city and there are so many things to play and do outside. I faltered this week and in my haste in becoming a "good mum" got the playdough bits and bobs out and we made some playdough. But it was too sticky! Not like the one at pre-school at all which is perfect, doesn't drop too many crumbs, doesn't stick to your hands and feels as soft as a babys bottom. 
If anyone can help me with a great play dough recipe then please pop it into the comments section. You don't need to have a google id, just ensure you leave contact details  or email them to us at koolaman designs. For your trouble we're randomly going to give away one koolaman designs apron, embroidered with our logo and just the thing for a "Good Mum" to be wearing in the kitchen!

Washing up! koolaman style


  1. •3 cups boiling water
    •3 cups flour
    •1 1/2 cups salt
    •4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
    •4 Tablespoons cream of tartar
    •food coloring optional -(I've even colored my daughters play-dough with a little beet juice)


    Mix all ingredients except for the flour in a large bowl. Once well mixed, add flour. Stir continuously until the dough mix leaves the sides of the bowl. When well blended, remove from bowl and knead on floured board. Careful! The dough will be HOT - especially in the center. Until it cools, this is a job for an adult. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour (I nearly always do). At first it will seem undercooked, but as you knead and sprinkle with flour, you will find you have made a nice, soft play-dough. Store in an airtight container. I never refrigerate my dough as putting it in the fridge makes it sweat and it goes sticky.

    Things to add to dough
    •rice for texture
    •vanilla or a few drops of essential oil for scent

    This dough is edible, but I would discourage children from eating play-dough (of course it's not edible with the added glitter or essential oils).

    hope this helps - Kellie Grady

  2. The playdough recipe I use is the same as the one above, so no need to write it all out again. A good thing to remember is that as it cools it also dries, so resist the tempation to add more flour while it is warm even though when you're kneeding the dough it may feel sticky, or you could end up with the dry crumbly playdough you're talking about.

    Recently I made black playdough for the first time, using powdered tempura paint to colour. It was a huge hit, especially with the boys, I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner!

    If you can stand the (potential) mess, make uncoloured playdough and then make orange sized balls, poke a hole to make a well, add colour to the well and let the kids mix it in. Another colour idea that looks neat is marbled playdough, just split the mixture and use two different colours, then roll into sausages, twist together and voila! Eventually the colours will mix together, so using primary colours is a good idea, teaches about secondary colours.

    Playdough can be a really soothing activity, especially when a few drops of lavender oil are added. My kids have always eaten the playdough when little, which is why making your own is so good, never mind the cost! At least with home made I know exactly what goes into it. of course, as mentioned above, with younger kiddies that will taste the dough, keep any additional ingredients as few as possible, and avoid those hyper-inducing food colours! Kellie's idea of beet juice is an awesome one!

    Playdough is great for all ages, my kids are 22 mths - 8 years and they all love playdough! And yes, I have 'worked' in ECE, as a mum in a parent co-operative Early Childhood Centre. Seems I could go on for ages about playdough, but since this is your blog and I'm supposed to be just adding a comment, I'll leave it at that!

  3. PS, that photo with the rubber gloves on the feet is awesome!

  4. Hi Lisa, you take amazing pictures...
    i have the best ever playdoh recipe

    Uncooked Play Dough

    2 cups of plain flour
    4 tablespoons of 'cream of tartar'
    2 tablespoons of cooking oil
    1 cup of salt
    2 cups of boiling water
    food colouring

    *Just pop it all in a mixing bowl and mix!

    *It looks as though it is not going to mix well at first but hang in there and throw it onto the bench to knead, and it will come together really nicely.

    *We put different things in ours also such as glitter and sand. Just be careful you don't put things in like rice as they tend to go mouldy - we find glitter is really good.

    *Add peppermint oil for a great smell and even longer lasting playdough...

    hope you enjoy making it as much as we do ours
    Rebel Burkinshaw

  5. Made playdough for years as a child carer... The secret is cooked playdough.. Either in a saucepan or electric fry pan. Recipe is on the cream of tatre box. I mix the food colouring in the water. Looks sticky as you start cooking but eventually comes together.. Keep on mixing! When it holds itself together take out of pan and knead.. Careful it is hot. Makes great playdough.. Add glitter for something different!
    Amelia Crawford - see fb

  6. I was given the exact same recipe as Rebel the other day but I added edible glitter to it and my daughter went crazy over it. The best thing was I didn't have to freak out when she tried eating it because the glitter was safe to eat and we used vegetables to colour it.

  7. This is a No-Cook Clay Dough

    You need
    3 cups flour
    3 cups salt
    3 tablespoons alum

    Combine ingredients and slowly add water, a little at a time. Mix well with spoon. As mixture thickens, continue mixing with your hands until it has the feel of clay. If it feels too dry, add more water. If it is too sticky, add equal parts of flour and salt.
    That's all, easy as.

  8. I also recommend the recipe using boiling water rather than cooking the dough - much, quicker, easier and no horrible saucepan to clean up after.
    I actually posted the recipe I use on my blog the other day -
    (its pretty much the same as above though, so I wont re write it here)
    Id love to be in the draw for the apron - I dont own one, and everytime Im cooking, making in the kitchen I wish I did!

    Nic xxx

  9. i make playdough as directed on the tarte box BUT i add potpurri for fragance or uncooked rice for texture or glitter to attract. Tools with the playdough sticks or rocks and matchbox cars or straws and a tea set,and lo'ts of IMAGINATION. Another suggestion is cornflour and water known as"Goop" it is amazing to play with, and very easy to clean up must be played with in a container such as an empty ice-cream container.

    Sam :0) { }

  10. Playdough is funny...we seem to go for ages without making it and then suddenly it's all we play with...I love putting rosewter or orange blossom water in mine (oops the kids I mean)'s so sensory; smooth, soft and scented...very soothing...Have fun!! Beth Roe see fb

  11. And, the winner of the koolaman designs apron for the best play dough recipe/tip is #7 Nic Wood. Thank you! You never know, I might just lose my 'bad mum' status and become a great one with these wonderful tips..... I must say playdough with rosewater, orange blossom water, edible glitter, peppermint oil and rice for texture all sounds like a play dough dream come true! Thank You!! L & Sxxx