Try this classic homemade playdough recipe that’s fun to make together. It is a project that presents all kinds of opportunities for conversation with your child, whatever language your family speaks.
Discuss each step with your child as you mix the play-dough. Stretch your child’s vocabulary by using words such as measure, ingredients, knead, and combine. Don’t forget to use words that indicate relationships, such as: next, under, last, bigger, smallest, and thinnest.
Homemade Play-dough
2 cups FLOUR
1 cup SALT
1 cup WATER
  • Combine flour and salt in a large bowl.
  • Add water slowly, stirring as you pour. Stop adding water when the ingredients have taken on the consistency of soft dough. The humidity of the day will affect how much water you need.
  • Knead with your hands for a few minutes.
  • Add a little more salt if the dough is too sticky.
  • Add a little more water if the dough is too dry.
  • Add a small amount of flour if the dough is too wet.
  • If you wish to color the dough, add food coloring a drop at a time. If you add too much, the dough will get sticky.
  • Now you’re ready for more play-dough fun!
Use a rolling pin or wooden or plastic dowel to roll the dough flat. Use plastic cookie cutters to make pretend cookies. Use a wooden popsicle stick to cut the play-dough. A piece of the dough rolled into a ball might be a meatball to your child, but a falafel to another family. A flattened-out ball of play-dough might be a pancake to your child,
but a tortilla to another family. Celebrate your family’s culture!
Don’t worry if your child tastes the dough. It’s salty, but it’s harmless.
Most children enjoy mixing and manipulating the dough with their hands, but some will not like the way it feels. As always, when it comes to play, follow your child’s
lead. Play should always be fun.
Even if your child has a very short attention span with toys or books, you might find that he/she is able to focus longer on this and other tactile tasks, as opposed to tasks that rely on visual or auditory skills. When it is time to clean up, place the dough in a re-sealable plastic bag, label it, and keep in the refrigerator. It will remain fresh and pliable for up to 2 weeks.


The Parent-Child Home Program Recommends:

Magnetic Fun Board – Farm
This large (18 1/2” W x 11 3/4” H) magnetic board illustrates a farm scene and
comes with an assortment of magnetic pieces (farm animals, trees, crops, etc.)
that can be placed anywhere in the scene. Ideal for creative play and storytelling.
Great for two-year-olds – there is no one “right” way to put the scene together.
Moody World Friends
A unique puzzle that features six children of different nationalities in native
dress. Each child comes in three pieces – mix and match the faces and outfits.
Six happy faces plus six additional “mood” faces are included. Packaged in
its own wooden box. A good choice for the second half of Program II –
understanding the moods on the faces is appropriate for three or four-year-olds.
Stimulates conversation about emotions as well as about cultural diversity.
Both toys manufactured by Small World Toys. Available at toy retailers throughout the country. To locate a vendor near you, or to order a catalog, contact Small World Toys customer service at (800) 421-4153.
© 2001 The Parent-Child Home Program, Inc.
The Parent-Child Home Program
1415 Kellum Place, Suite 101
Garden City, New York 11530