Mother by Nature Blog

Magic Playdoh

October 9, 2015

Got a few spare minutes and a few bored kids to entertain?

Then ‘Magic Playdoh’ is your answer! Not only does it look spectacular but it is a novel way to teach young children the simple yet fun science of how to make a new colour from two other colours. This little craft idea has been a favourite of mine for a quite a while now and I like to do it during the quieter school holiday period when there is nothing much else on…boredom busters at it’s child-like best.

I used to use a no cook Playdoh recipe but that involved boiling water which isn’t the safest idea with inquisitive little ones buzzing around under your elbows and it also felt icky and was quite drying on the skin. My new recipe is a basic microwave one which seems to last longer too.

Ok lets begin.

Magic Playdoh

Mix 3 cups of plain flour in a large mixing bowl with 6 teaspoons of cream of tartar, 1/2 cup of salt, 3 tablespoons of oil and 3 cups of water. Mix well ensuring no lumps. Divide this mixture evenly into 2 bowls and discuss with your budding scientists which colour you would like to make. For ours we decided to make purple so we put a few drops of blue in one mixture and then a few drops of red into the other one. Because we didn’t use too much red it actually turned out pink but it still changed into (soft) purple in the end. Now you need to cook each mixture separately in the microwave for around 6 minutes. Be careful not to overcook it as it will become dry and crumbly. When it’s finished cooking leave it to cool slightly. Knead each dough (separately) until smooth then roll out one at a time using a rolling pin to make a nice long rectangular shape. Set aside. Roll out the other one to the same size and shape then carefully lay it on top of the first one. Now firmly roll them both up together into a log shape and then slice into pieces with a hot knife . Beware…it looks good enough to eat – particularly to the children, but the salt will soon set them straight. Yuk!

Now the Magic Playdoh is ready to go and the special surprise awaits. As the children begin to play with it naturally the colours will mix together and create the new colour! It’s very exciting for little ones. All that’s left to do is to simply find a suitable place for them to get messy busy and add a few old pots, pans and spoons. At our home it is far far away in the back yard cubby house kitchen because frankly I have enough crap to pick up in the house during the day with out adding playdoh crumbs to my list. Playdoh stuck to my slippers…no thank you. Not an option. Ever.

Happy last days of holidays!


For an easy variation you can add glorious get-everywhere glitter but make sure little ones do NOT eat it as it can be sharp. Always keep playdoh in a sealed container when not using.

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  • Reply miilyjade October 10, 2015 at 4:41 am

    Microwave yeah, that seems so much safer than stove top! Great tip will definitely make this! Oh and I love the element of education… mixing the colour after playdoh is made! Brilliant, you’re a fabulous mother oh and writer, beautifully articulated!!!

    • Reply Mother By Nature October 14, 2015 at 4:24 am

      Thank you miilyjade for the kind words, and yes the playdoh has been a winner with our family!

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