It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Playdough Recipe

Ask and you shall receive…

In fact, my recipe comes from the More With Less Cookbook, our family’s primary cookbook, put out by the Mennonite Central Committee. (No, I’m not Mennonite, but I went to university in an area of the country jam-packed with them! To this day, when I find myself at an occasion where people have segregated themselves by gender – you know, all the men at one table, or down one side of the picnic table, all the women on the other side – I think of it as “sitting Mennonite”, a term used by the Mennonite students themselves in gentle self-deprecation.) I don’t follow the recipe exactly, though, so here’s my variation of the MWL recipe:

Mix together in a bowl:
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons alum

In a pot, heat to boiling:
2 cups water (cookbook says 1.5 cups)
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon oil
food colouring

Stir liquids into dry ingredients. Knead* until smooth. Store in airtight container.

*Kneading can be a treat, given that the stuff is boiling hot! Put on a pair of rubber gloves and rub a dot of oil onto the palms to prevent the dough from sticking. Knead lightly at first: it becomes less sticky as it cools. I sometimes put out a sheet of wax paper to knead on to prevent it sticking to the counter. (Sometimes. More often I forget…)

March 22, 2006 - Posted by | crafts


  1. Thank you Mary!

    Comment by Angela | March 22, 2006 | Reply

  2. I had forgotten how much I love homemade playdough. Can’t stand the smell of the store bought stuff!

    Comment by jen-o-rama | March 22, 2006 | Reply

  3. You’re welcome, Angela.

    And you can always add cinnamon or vanilla or koolaid powder to give it the scent of your preference. I don’t to that, because it encourages the children to eat the stuff. Like they need any…

    Comment by Mary P. | March 22, 2006 | Reply

  4. Woo-hoo! I’ll be making some this weekend!

    Comment by Candace | March 22, 2006 | Reply

  5. Is 18 mos. too young for playdough? I was so impressed to the garlic press time suck you achieved with the little guy Tuesday I am dying to try it on e.

    Are those your cork floors? I keep thinking I’d like cork floors, are they any good.

    And, finally. You know as soon as posted I was going to try your picky eater cure Girl Friday started eating EVERYTHING. Wow that is one effective method, even the threat was enough for one little girl.

    Comment by mo-wo | March 23, 2006 | Reply

  6. mo-wo: 18 months and playdough? Depends on the child. She won’t make anything with it, of course, but as long as she’s past using her mouth as her default exploratory tool, she can have fun poking, prodding, tearing it into chunks, and burying things in it. (And smearing it into the carpets, if you’re not careful. One of the many reasons why the only carpets in this house are on the stairs.)

    That may well be cork, but the picture is one I lifted from a craft site called Hop, Skip, Jump I found through a Google image search! I agree, it looks nice: warm and a nice visual texture.

    So glad to hear The Program worked! I had no idea it was quite that effective. You obviously have one smart (and/or canny?) little girl.

    Comment by Mary P. | March 23, 2006 | Reply

  7. Mo-wo – a note on cork from the peanut gallery. My parents had a cork floor in the kitchen. It is a little softer on the feet and gentler when things get dropped, a little better on noise. But not wildly. The downsides to consider are that it does fade in the sun over time, so depending on the exposure in the room you put it in, it may or may not be an issue (the hot air register cover lifted to reveal a major difference, but the fading was from one end of the room tothe other in our house, so not too noticeable day-to-day). Also, our original kitchen chairs were directors chairs with those wicked little plastic circle feet with sharp edges. Those broke the surface on the tile, allowing in air and dirt that creataed nice black circles that stayed. The later wooden chairs were fine, though.
    (sorry to hijack your comments and be solong-winded, Mary!)

    Comment by kittenpie | March 23, 2006 | Reply

  8. […] recipe that I’d been using prior to discovering this one is still a good one. It produces a much stiffer, firmer dough, and for my […]

    Pingback by Playdough Recipe « It’s Not All Mary Poppins | January 24, 2012 | Reply

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