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How to Make Play Dough

Learn how to make homemade play dough with the instructions in this science project video from Howcast.


Have you guys ever got into an accident? Maybe falling down or just doing something that you didn't mean to do? Well this experiment is all about an accidental invention. Which led into one of the most amazing discoveries which is one of the most popular toys in America today.

See in the 1930's and 40's people used to use wallpaper. They actually wrapped their walls in paper. I know it sounds weird because we don't use it today. But the problem is these walls used to get dirty. So this man decided to create a wallpaper cleaner. And it was great. And the cool thing about it was, it was non toxic. But eventually people caught on that it was non toxic and kids started using it, started building with it, started playing with it. And eventually this man came to realize, wait a second. This is an even cooler toy than it is wallpaper cleaner. And that lead to the accidental invention of play dough.

Now you don't necessarily have to go out and buy play dough when you can make it at home. All I really need is flour and salt, a little bit of oil, that's it. And you can make it any color. You make make your blues, your reds, your greens, your yellows, and your purples. Now what do I need? Let me show you. I need exactly one cup of flour. And your measurements are important because if it gets a little too dry or wet you can always mix and match your chemicals.

Now here's my one cup of flour, I'm going to just dump it into my container. Then I'm going to take a quarter cup of salt. Quarter cup, think about it, one quarter, two quarter, three quarter, four. If you had a measuring cup you could use your measuring cup but I'm just going to use an approximation. That's just about a quarter of a cup. And I'm going to pour it in. I like to now shake this around. I'm going to stir it around so that the salt and the flour become one mixture where you can t tell that there's salt in there. It's just a floury salt mixture.

And I'm just going to add something a little special. I'm going to add a couple teaspoons of corn oil. To just give it that nice texture that you guys are used to. One. And two. And now you're going to notice that the oil starts to bead up when it touches the flour and the salt. And now it's time to add your water. And I told you, you can make this any color you want. But now remember play dough has a certain texture to it. You add too much water, you ruin it. Let's just make this play dough, we'll make it yellow. I'm going to add 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 just because I like the number 7. I'm going to stir it around and then I'm going to pour water. If you add all of it, you messed up your play dough it'll be too wet.

A little bit, and stop. And start to stir. And start to stir. And start to stir and stir and stir. And you're going to notice. If you see a lot of powder left that means you should add a little more water. So I'm just going to add a little more water. And now, time to get dirty. You're going to touch it at first it's going to feel nothing like play dough. But you're being like a baker and pressing it and holding it and feeling and you know what? You notice that it's a little too wet you can always just take a little more powder. Don't throw it away, don't make extra garbage. Just like a pizza person sprinkles extra flour on his pizza if the dough is too wet. And press it and roll it and all of a sudden you're going to notice that what used to be really wet starts to look a little bit like a certain substance that you guys are used to.

Just keep pressing it and rolling it, pressing it and rolling it, and if you don't like the way it feels, if it feels a little too wet, little bit of powder and press it and roll it. And press and roll. And yes, it is a little messy. But messy is fun. And if you wanted to have some help, put it on the table. You could have a cooking sheet. And press it.

And you can already tell it's not sticking. It's sticking to my hand because I'm actually the person who's making it and my hands were already wet. But press it and roll it. And if you need a little more, little powder, little flour. Press it, and roll it. And guess what? I just made an invention. And believe it or not, it feels just like real play dough. And the cool part is, I never even left the house to go buy it. I made it. And you know what I"m about to go do now? I'm going to make a red one, a green one, a yellow one and I'm going to build cool things like giraffes and dinosaurs. Go. Make. Play dough. Have fun.

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