It seems that the secret to success in Toddler Art at Mama’s Hip is to mix it up. To offer a variety of engaging activities so all the littles find one thing they can really dig into. Each week we offer some combination of painting, gluing, cutting, coloring, mixing, squishing, rolling, sticking and even eating. Most projects are process(not product) oriented. Little ones are encouraged to explore at their own pace and visit each station as many times as they like. Parents are often amazed at their new found skills. But one thing I’ve learned to never take away is the play dough! Everyone LOVES the play dough!


And since toddlers are know to eat the art supplies, it’s nice to pull out the homemade play dough – made from ingredients most people have in the pantry. I’ve experimented with various recipes over the years and found that overall the cooked kind is better than the other recipes. And last week I stumbled upon my favorite of all. It came out soft and smooth and had the grown ups playing as much as the kiddos.


Tinkerlab’s Best Playdough Recipe


2.5 cups water
1 1/4 c. salt
1 1/2 tbsp. cream of tartar
5 tbsp. vegetable oil
2.5 cups flour

Food coloring or liquid watercolors.

Mix everything but the food coloring together in a large pot until somewhat smooth. It will be lumpy. Not to worry, the dough will get smoother as it cooks. Cook the dough over a low heat. Mix frequently. The water will slowly cook out of the mixture and you’ll notice it starts to take on a sticky dough appearance. Keep mixing until the edges of the dough along the side and bottom of the pan appear dry. Pinch a piece of dough. If it’s not gooey, the dough is ready.

Place the dough on a counter top or large cutting board that can withstand a little food coloring. Knead the warm dough until it’s smooth and then divide it into the number of colors that you’d like to make. I divided mine into four balls, flattened each of them, added a little bit of food coloring, and then kneaded it in.

Store the dough in a large Ziplock bag or sealed container. Unused, it’ll keep for months.


Join us for Toddler Art every Friday at 9:30 & 10:15 and the 4th Saturday of each month at 10:30. This class is fun for littles 1-5 years and their grownups! Little kid fun, grown up conversations and you can leave the mess behind!

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