Who doesn’t like kneading? It’s one of the most relaxing activities you can do. Whether you are making bread or pizza, the softness of dough in your hands can help release your stress.
For kids, playing with dough can be very important for their cognitive and motor skills. Even so, kinder teachers include dough in their daily classes for kids to play around and create figures.
Your kids can either play with homemade dough or store-bought Play-Doh. The advantage of homemade dough is that preparation time can also be a moment of joy to share with your kids. It’s really inexpensive and you can make more whenever you want.
You only need to get a few ingredients:
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup of salt
- 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
- food coloring gel.
You basically need to mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan and cook the mixture all together on low heat until it gets consistent like any store-bought dough.
If you over cook it and it gets too hard, you can read the section below about how to make playdough soft again.
It will be fine whether you make your own dough or you get store-bought Play-Doh!
Fun fact: did you know that Play-Doh was first invented to clean walls and other surfaces before being a kids’ toy?
Maybe that’s why it’s like a magnet to attract dirt! But there are ways to prevent your dough from collecting dust.
Create a clean play zone
The first recommendation we want to give you is: create a specific place for your kid to play with dough.
Set up a space you can cover with plastic to avoid your child from rubbing the dough on dirty surfaces or furniture that can get stained.
This can be either a fixed place in your house, like a small table in the living room, or you can organize the dough in a container with this piece of plastic to make a “tool box” your kid can take anywhere.
Store your dough in airtight containers or bags
The other thing you need to take into consideration is how to store the dough. If you have bought Play-Doh dough, it will come in individual containers, perfect for keeping it fresh and clean.
But, if you are making your own, you will have to find ways to preserve it yourself. The neatest way to store your dough is buying your own individual containers for each color.
You can also get a big container with divisions to keep all your pieces together in one place. This will come in handy in order to take your dough from the cupboard or fridge to the play zone without dealing with carrying all separate containers.
However, if your kid wants all the colors in the rainbow, buying one container for each can be quite expensive. If this is the case, you can replace the containers with Ziploc bags, which are cheaper and can do the trick perfectly well.
The best benefit these bags have is that they don’t use up too much space, so they are easier to store than individual containers.
Any of these options can help to keep your dough clean, but they can also prevent your dough from getting dry and crumbly. To avoid this, your containers should be airtight and your Ziploc bags should be well-closed.
But what happens when the dough already has this texture? Is it possible to make it good to use again? Of course it is!
Read below to see how to make playdough soft again.
How to make playdough soft again
In the first place, why does playdough get hard?
As you read above, playdough is made out of dry and liquid ingredients; one of them, water.
If you leave your dough out in the air on in a non-airtight container, the water will evaporate out of it and leave only the dry ingredients in your dough.
This is what produces the crumbly or dry texture. If your kid has already played quite a lot with the dough, it will contain gluten.
Gluten is produced when you work the flour with your hands, and when the dough dries out, gluten will make it harder.
But how to make playdough soft?
The solution for this is as easy as it can get: add water! This is the only ingredient that you need to bring your dough back to life.
Put your dough in a bowl and add a few drops of water in it and knead the dough to bring the water into it. Slowly add more water until you gain back the desired texture.
You only need to make sure not to add too much water, or your dough will not be consistent enough for kneading.
Make your playdough smoother
You can also add just a few drops of vegetable oil, as it is the other liquid ingredient used your making homemade dough and it can help make it smoother.
And you can even include a hint of edible flavoring to make your dough smell good! If it smells so good your kid wants to eat it, don’t worry.
Both homemade and Play-Doh dough are non-toxic and safe.
But how to soften play doh? This tip is not only useful to revive your homemade dough but also store-bought Play-Doh, as their components are pretty much the same.
If you use these tips, your kids will be able to play with the same batch of dough for years! So, we really hope you can put them all into practice to:
- Make your own playdough
- Keep your dough clean and moisturized
- Make your playdough soft again
We hope that you enjoyed these tips about how to make playdough soft! As you saw, they are super easy and worth putting into practice.
You can also read our article where we tell you How to store Polymer Clay and some tips to can have your clay perfect for years! 😉