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Make your own play dough!

What you need

  • 1 cup of flour 
  • ¾ cup of water
  • ¼ cup of salt
  • 1 tbsp of oil such as vegetable 
  • Mixing bowl and wooden spoon 
  • Measuring cups/small jug for pouring


  • Maths skills – talking about more/less, quantities and counting numbers of cups, etc. 
  • Creativity and imagination – what could we make out of the dough?
  • Critical thinking skills – what do we need to make the playdough? How will the ingredients change?
  • Physical – fine and gross motor skills

The experience

Let’s make some playdough! All you need is flour, water, salt and oil such as vegetable oil (quantities listed in the ‘What you’ll need’ table – easily adaptable to suit changing needs in quantity, etc.) 

Prepare an area that can get a little messy such as the kitchen table, or even outside on a patio or hard surface. Provide some measuring cups or small cup your child can use to scoop flour into the mixing bowl.

Then add salt, oil & gradually pour in the water. You may like to have a jug of water they can pour from. It’s a great opportunity to develop critical thinking skills with your child, by getting them to guess how much of each ingredient is needed and experiment with varying amounts. If the playdough is too sticky, discuss with them – ‘What do you think we could use to make it less sticky?’ If they are unsure, offer gentle suggestions such as, ‘Shall we try adding a bit more flour and see?’ Or, if it is not sticking together, offer some more water. 

Once made, you can let your imaginations run wild and create anything you like out of playdough! It is a great fine motor exercise to just pinch, pat, roll and stretch the dough out. If you have cookie cutters/rolling pins this can be an added element, but using cutlery to shape and cut the dough also works. You can add food colouring to the dough if you wish!