Kids love letting their creativity run wild with paints and modeling clay. But, keeping kids supplied with a constant supply of store bought modeling dough and paints can be costly. These homemade versions of play dough and finger paint are simple to make and inexpensive. They also use supplies that you probably have in your cupboard already. So mix up a batch of play dough or finger paint and let your kids create away.
Homemade Simple Salt Dough Recipe
This is the simplest homemade play dough recipe that you can make. Finished creations can be baked and painted.
Dissolve 1 cup of salt in 1 1/4 cup water (If you need to, add a little more). If you want colored dough, add food coloring a drop at a time until you get the color you want. Then stir in about 3 cups flour (one cup at a time), until a soft dough forms.
The dough can be shaped or cut out with cookie cutters. Let the shaped dough harden overnight or bake it at 200º F, checking every 15 minutes, until the dough hardens. Larger creations will take longer to harden. Once the dough hardens, it can be painted with acrylics for a bold finish or with watercolors for a softer (but easier to clean) finish.
Peanut Butter Play Dough
The best part about this homemade play dough is that it combines playtime and snack time. If you want a smaller batch of dough, cut the recipe in half.
2 cups peanut butter
1 cup honey
2 cups instant nonfat dried milk
Using your hands, mix all of the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. Let kids mold the dough into desired shapes using their hands or using cookie cutters. Provide small bowls of raisins, mini M&Ms, pretzel sticks, goldfish crackers, rainbow sprinkles, and coconut for decorations.
Homemade Finger Paint
This non-toxic paint recipe is perfect for toddlers.
2 cups flour
4 cups cold water
Mix flour and water and cook over low heat until thick. Stir the flour mixture constantly so lumps do not form. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in a pinch of salt. Add food coloring a drop at a time until the desired color is reached. Store any leftover paint in a covered jar in the refrigerator.
If you choose to use food coloring in these recipes, prevent stains on your children’s clothing by dressing them in old clothes and covering all play surfaces with plastic tablecloths. A simple smock can be made with a man’s T-shirt. Just pull the shirt over your child’s head and if you want, use a belt or a cord to tie it around his or her waist.
These art supplies can be purchased from cheap party supplies stores.