Naturally Dyed DIY Playdough

Playdough is a great fine motor activity to build muscles in children’s hands. These muscles are important for things like gripping writing utensils, dressing themselves, and manipulating small items. I have also found playdough time to be a calming and creative outlet for my spirited girl. The focus helps to slow her breathing and the sensory aspect of playdough helps to occupy her nicely. Letting go of perfect colors was challenging for me initially but I have accepted defeat and happily let Lily enjoy color mixing all the time; this has presented the opportunity to have conversations about primary and secondary colors along with color mixing.

There are lots of DIY playdough recipes but I decided to make a naturally dyed playdough. This was so much easier than I anticipated! To add color to our playdough I used Turmeric and Dragon Fruit Powder. The dragon fruit powder can be found here and we also use this in smoothies!

Creating the dyed water added such an exciting element to this playdough making experience; watching the color and playdough form was very satisfying. The texture was so smooth and it is completely taste safe! The element of heat helps to treat the flour making it safe for little ones sampling. Now, I am by no means recommending to eat this because of all the salt. I always wondered why people made there own playdough but after making ours I have figured it out for myself. The playdough is just amazing.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Dyed Water
  • 1/4 Cup Salt
  • 2 TBSP Cream of Tartar
  • 2 TBSP Cooking Oil
Left to Right and Top to Bottom: Cooking oil, Salt, Dragon Fruit Dyed water, Flour, Cream of Tartar, and Turmeric Dyed Water

HOW TO MAKE DYED WATER:

  1. Prepare your dyed water first. Combine 1 Cup of water and 2 Tbsp of turmeric or dragon fruit powder in a saucepan. Stir mixture and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Removed liquid from the heat.
  4. Using a sieve, pour dyed water into the sieve over a bowl while catching the liquid. Dispose of what is caught in the sieve.
  5. Set the liquid aside and allow it to cool. Once the liquid has cooled, proceed to the the how to make playdough portion.

HOW TO MAKE PLAYDOUGH:

  1. Combine dyed water, flour, salt, cream of tartar, and oil into a pan and whisk until lump free.
  2. Stirring continuously, heat mixture over medium heat. Once done, the playdough will form a ball and begin to stick to the sides and bottom of the pan.
  3. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.
  4. Once cool, knead the playdough to work out any flour lumps and play! When you are finished playing, store in an airtight container.

Our Playdough Invitation to Play:

Once this playdough was complete I could not wait to set up an invitation to play. The turmeric made the perfect yellow for the bee theme I was hoping to set up. Lily requested the pink, her current favorite color. I realized this was the perfect opportunity to talk about bees and pollination and use the pink for flowers. Our favorite picture book that touches on this topic is The Honeybee which can be found here but for today’s activity I included the book Little Bee along with cute bee cookie cutters that can be found in the sensory portion of my amazon store. I also added a DIY cardboard sensory stamp. To make this DIY stamp I hot glued bubble wrap to a piece of cardboard but for more information on DIY cardboard stamps check out this post.

Happy playing!

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