National Play-Doh Day: September 18, 2010 (LOTS of ideas!)


Submitted by Deborah (Teach Preschool) and Shara (Mommy Perks)

Did you know that September 18th, 2010, is offically National Play-Doh Day? We're not sure who came up with that idea but we like it! As early childhood educators with a little dash of expertise (20+ years), we decided to combine our resources to bring you...

A post about all things PLAY-DOH.

Ready for the ride? Here we go...

Eight Play-Doh Tips:

Tip #1: Not all Play-Doh is made alike. Generic brands simply don't match up to the original. Some generic brands are also toxic and should be avoided at all costs (or even if it's free).

Tip #2: You can use Play-Doh indoors or out! Set up a table outside if you prefer not to make an indoor mess. Or use in the kitchen where the pieces can be swept up, once dry.

Tip #3: If Play-Doh is dropped on the carpet, let it dry. Once it's dry, the pieces are much easier to pick up or vacuum. If you attempt to clean while the dough is still wet, it will be much harder.

Tip #4: Kids LOVE Play-Doh. Even older children will engage if they see that the dough is out and ready to be manipulated. Use this to your advantage and invite all children to the table (bonding, right?): even the teens, yes.

Tip #5: Many children like to smoosh the Play-Doh colors together. The result will be a big icky looking brown pile of goo. Decide up front if you will allow for this. Do you want the colors to remain seperate? If so, you need to lay down the Play-Doh law from the get-go. Otherwise...brown goo will ensue.

Tip #6: Some kids need a little guidance when it comes to making shapes, creating bugs, designing patters and so on. Don't be bossy about it but offer to help, as needed.

Tip #7: Some children want to be in charge of their Play-Doh creations. No help needed, thanks! That's okay, too - let it fly!

Tip #8: The many pluses of Play-Doh can include developmental benefits such as: fine motor skill use, color association, creativity, critical thinking, sharing, self esteem (in a job well done), free play and of! You could also use the dough to create letters, numbers and names.

Recipes Galore

Making Play-Doh at home is very easy and cost effective. Here's a basic recipe for a small dough ball (found at

  • 1 c Flour
  • 1 c Water
  • 1/2 c Salt
  • 2 tb Cream of tartar
  • 1 tb Oil

Tip: If you bag your Play-Doh and store in the fridge, it will last up to 3 months.

Leah, from Peacock Pottery, shares her recipe here:

  • 2 C water
  • 1 or 2 packages of unsweetened KoolAid ( we like to use 2 for brighter colors)
  • 1 t Vegetable oil
  • 2 C Flour
  • 3/4 C Salt
  • 2 t Cream of Tartar

Leah also states:

"I take the boys to the store to pick out the flavors / colors of koolAid they want to make. After it is made, we take out all the cookie cutters, rolling pins, plastic forks and knives and they have a ball!  It is a complete mess all over the table and floors, but isn't creating, laughing and having fun what childhood is all about?"

Our friends at Glitterful Preschool Fun offer us oodles of Play-Doh recipes, including:

  • Chocolate
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Peanut Butter
  • Oatmeal
  • Spice Fun
  • Coffee
  • Peppermint
  • Jello
  • Salty

Here's a post about cooked and un-cooked Play-Doh from Hear Mum Roar! You've likely never tried the un-cooked version so...enjoy!

Un-cooked Play-Doh:

  • 3 cups of plain flour
  • 1/3 cup of salt
  • 1 and 1/4 cups of water
  • Plain flour for dusting
  • Colouring of your choice

Deborah, from Teach Preschool, shares:


I was trying to come up with something different to do with play-dough and my brother suggested that I try some nature printing. I didn’t have any play-dough on hand so I borrowed a recipe from Polwig and made my own!

I wanted to make fall colors so I added red, yellow and a mixture of red and yellow to make orange play-dough. I have to say that it only took me about 20 minutes to whip all of these colors up. I forgot how easy it really is to make your own play-dough.

Next, I went out into my back yard and gathered up some leaves, acorns, walnuts, and a few sticks. I wanted to find a pine cone but you should know that I started this so late that I was hunting for these things in the dark with a flashlight! I recommend taking your class out to hunt for nature items during the day – it is much easier :-).

I brought my basket of nature items inside then started playing. I pinched of a few colors of play-dough and rolled them out.

TeachPreschoolThen I selected nature items from my basket to press into the dough. I had no idea which items would leave a good print but found it really didn’t matter. There is just something relaxing and inviting about decorating the dough with the nature items.

My acorns and walnuts left nice deep prints. I could take them out of their spot then put them right back again – kind of like a puzzle.

My leaf print was a little more difficult to see. The stem was great but the leaf shape was a little more of a challenge to make and to see.

After I finished making my collage of nature on play-dough, I decided that this would be fun for the kids at school to try so I put the play-dough in little baggies and my walnuts and acorns in the basket to take them all with me to school. I will let the children go and find more leaves and other symbols of fall to add to the collection I have started.

*Thanks to everyone who offered ideas and links for this post.

Happy National Play-Doh Day!


#3 mikelis 2011-03-22 11:45
hehe, didn`t know that there is a national playdough day :D
but thanks for the homemade playdough recipes and resouces ;)
#2 2011-03-04 14:13
:D Thanks for the playdough recipe, homemade playdough is the best! Keeps my kiddies busy for hours and out of my hair. I know what im doing this weekend now!
#1 Guest 2010-09-17 17:05
I love the idea of the Autumn colours!

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