Day 5 Hands on Play Challenge: Play Dough Exploration

I have been playing the 30 Days to Hands on Play Challenge and this was the only challenge that I didn’t feel like doing when I saw the email alert pop in my inbox. It looks like a fun activity but I had a lot of issues with it… sticky, icky feeling for the baby, weird clay smell, hardens easily, hard to wash off, and the top issue is “what if she eats it”? 😛

I was so glad when I trooped over to the site to read about the challenge for the day and was quite surprised to see a recipe for homemade play dough. Now, that got my attention! 🙂

The original recipe can be found here, but I also listed this very easy no-cook play dough recipe below. I carried Baby Bear as I was making this so she would be involved even at the preparation stage for the activity.


  • 2 cups plain all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1.5 cups boiling watershould only be handled by adults
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartarif you don’t have this, just substitute with a squeeze of lemon (optional step)
  • food coloring and/or scent (optional step)
  • few drops of glycerine (optional step – this just adds shine to your clay) 🙂


  • Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl
  • Add the boiling water
  • Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough
  • Add the food colouring and glycerine (both optional ingredients)
  • Allow it to cool down then take it out of the bowl and knead for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness is gone (for perfect consistency)

Activity Proper:

  • Look for objects to use for your clay play. This is a free-play game so no rules and anything goes.
  • Lay out all the objects in the floor with the clay and start exploring together.

Here’s what happened to our activity. The first thing that Baby Bear did when she touched the clay was to grab some and put it in her mouth! (Thank you Imagination Tree for your recipe – safe, natural and edible!) Next, I gave her some clay in her hands which she just held and she just sat there watching us play, roll, and mold shapes. I decided to involve some of her favorite toys to get her to join us in the fun.

the farmer in the clay, the farmer in the clay… heigh-ho away we go, the farmer in the clay…

That got her a bit excited. Her favorite form of play lately is pretend-eat-play. She hastily gave the piece of clay that she squished in her hand to her toy farmer and pig 🙂 Encouraged with her reaction, I got a few more of her favorite toys and made…

… clay shapes! her fave is the star 🙂

This also became a learning process as I asked her to randomly pass Momma Bear different shapes. The last activity that we did that got her beaming with laughter the most was when we created her ultimate favorite shape… next to the star…

clay ball!!!

To those who know Baby Bear, she loves round objects so much, she actually has a container case filled with just balls — different sizes, shapes, texture and feel. This one, she really played with for a long time. We played roll and pass the ball, “run” after the ball, throw it into the air, squish it and shape it again and even made a giant ball 🙂

We would’ve played some more but it was already time for her afternoon nap. Another nice thing about this activity is you can keep your homemade clay in a ziploc bag inside the cupboard and reuse it next time. Btw, 2 thumbs up for the clay recipe!!! It is everything I want in a clay. I can’t wait for our next clay play and I would love to add some new clay colors next time. 🙂

Here’s a list of other Play Dough Recipes that are all easy to make and here is another way to play with clay dough as blogged about by Rainy Day Mum and another blog here by The Imagination Tree.

See you guys again tomorrow for Day 6 Challenge! Have a happy Monday and a great week ahead to all of you! 🙂




One thought on “Day 5 Hands on Play Challenge: Play Dough Exploration

ni hao, thanks for reading. drop me a line, xie xie! =)

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