How to Make Homemade Play Dough (in 47 Easy Steps)

44. Listen to her say, "I don't want to PLAY with the play dough. I just wanted to MAKE the play dough."
11/25/2013 01:33 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017


1. Give in to your kid's request to craft, despite the fact that you're out of pom pom balls, tongue depressors, pipe cleaners, glue and googly eyes.

2. Find an idiot-proofᅡᅠhomemade play dough recipe by a mom online who seems so much nicer, more patient and more fun than you.

3. Locate and apply smock and ponytail holders to your kid.

4. Get the crafting tablecloth from the floor behind the couch where your kids last shoved it, then pick off all the petrified real Play-Doh while wondering whether this is a good idea.

5. Pray you have cream of tartar from that time last year when you were messing around on Pinterest at 11:00 p.m. thinking you should totally make homemade play dough with your kids -- because, really, why else would you have that stuff?

6. Find dusty cream of tartar container at the back of the cabinet, shoved behind the cardamom and white pepper.

7. Listen to your kid exclaim, "Oh, tartar sauce!" in Spongebob Squarepants' voice one thousand times while giggling furiously.

8. Completely ignore the optional ingredient of glycerine, because you're lucky enough to have had that dusty container of Cream of Tartar.

9. Line up the ingredients, bowls, mixing spoons, measuring cups and tablespoon.

10. Start mixing ingredients.

11. Run out of regular salt.

12. Finish with kosher salt while muttering, "Mazel tov!"

13. Tell your kid to mix the dry ingredients together.

14. Say, "Please don't spill. Don't spill. I see you spilling. We don't have any more cream of tartar, so if you spill it's all over. DON'T SPILL."

15. Get mocked by your kid because you're the one who spills the vegetable oil when you're adding it to the bowl.

16. Boil water.

17. Tell kid to stop playing with the food coloring while you're at the stove.

18. Tell kid to slide the bowl away from herself so you can pour in the boiling water.

19. Repeat, "Move it away. Further. Fuuurtherrr. Okay, just back up. Back. Up. BACK UP."

20. Start to pour the boiling water in, only to have your kid leap forward to scream that she made a moat for her castle and THAT is where the water needs to go.

21. Burn yourself with boiling water while filling a moat.

22. Repeat, "Don't touch it. Back up. Back. UP. I SAID DON'T TOUCH IT" while you put the kettle back on the stove.

23. Start stirring the boiling water into the dry ingredients as your kid quietly whines that you ruined her castle and her moat.

24. Notice how badly homemade play dough smells.

25. Make really hot glob of stinky ingredients into a very warm blob of dough.

26. Divide it into four bowls, and tell your kid to add a few drops of food coloring to each.

27. Solve the unsolvable mystery when she can't figure out why the green food coloring isn't coming out.

28. Tell her to stop leaving uncapped food coloring so close to the edge of the table.

29. Realize she made each blob into a face, so you now have to kill her "smiley face friends" to stir in the coloring.


31. Hand them over one by one once they cool, so she can knead the coloring in evenly.

32. Remind her 400x to do it over the table, not over her lap.

33. Form the homemade play dough into colorful balls on the table and tell your kid she did a great job.

34. Tell her she can play with it once you both clean up together.

35. Watch her gather eight plastic baggies to put each ball in so they won't dry out.

36. Wipe tablecloth.

37. Put 5 bowls, 5 spoons, 3 measuring cups and 1 measuring spoon by the sink to wash later.

38. Put away unused ingredients.

39. Pour all the spilled ingredients into the trash can.

40. Wipe down the crafting tablecloth.

41. Vacuum under the kitchen table.

42. Wipe all the ingredients off your kid's face and arms.

43. Once the kitchen table is clean again, tell her she can play with the play dough now.

44. Listen to her say, "I don't want to PLAY with the play dough. I just wanted to MAKE the play dough."

45. [One second pause]

46. "Can we do another craft now?"

47. Walk out of kitchen to go weep in the corner.

This post originally appeared on Let Me Start By Saying by Kim Bongiorno.

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