How to Make Play Dough Out of Corn Starch

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Creative parents and preschool teachers on a budget have been making homemade play dough for years. Many different ingredients can be added to play dough to alter the texture, color or scent for an added sensory experience. Although many homemade play dough recipes call for flour, cornstarch can be used to make an alternate play dough that can be molded and shaped similar to other play dough. The difference between this cornstarch play dough recipe and the standard play dough recipe is that it dries after a few days, similar to molding clay.

Things You'll Need

  • Large pot
  • 4 cups play sand
  • 2 cups cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. cream or tartar
  • Wooden spoon
  • Plastic container with lid
  • Stove
  • Pour 4 cups play sand into a large pot on a stove top. Add 2 cups cornstarch and 1 tsp. cream of tartar. Stir the three dry ingredients together with a wooden spoon to blend them well.

  • Add 2 1/2 cups warm tap water to the dry ingredients. Turn the stove top heat to the "Medium" setting and stir the water into the dry ingredients for a few minutes to form a soft dough. Remove from heat and allow the dough to cool for three to four minutes.

  • Scoop the dough out of the pot and place it on a clean counter top. Knead the dough by folding it over, pushing it down, then turning it with quarter turns. Repeat this process until the play dough is completely cool.

  • Store the play dough in a plastic container with an airtight lid to prevent it from drying out and becoming hard.

Tips & Warnings

  • Stir a few drops of food coloring into the dough to add color. Be careful not to add too much as the color can transfer to skin.
  • Add ground cinnamon, peppermint extract or vanilla extract to the play dough for a pleasant fragrance.
  • One 3 oz. package of gelatin crystals stirred into the play dough adds both color and scent.
  • Cornstarch and sand play dough dries hard after a couple days in the open air.
  • Supervise young children when using play dough to ensure they don't eat the mixture.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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