How to Make Toys

How to Make Play Dough

What child doesn't enjoy modeling? This smooth-textured, easy-to-shape dough is far superior to the expensive brand-name variety. It's simple enough to let the kids help with the "cooking."



  • Large mixing bowl
  • Fork
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • 2-quart saucepan
  • Locking plastic bag or air-tight container


  • Flour
  • Salad oil
  • Alum
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Food coloring as desired

Yield: 3 cups

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons of salad oil, and 2 tablespoons of alum; stir with a fork to moisten the dry ingredients evenly. Set aside. Measure 2 cups of water into a 2-quart saucepan; add 1/2 cup salt and food coloring as desired. Heat to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the salt dissolves.

Add the hot water solution to the flour mixture in the bowl and stir to blend thoroughly. Let cool slightly; then knead the dough until it's soft and pliable. Store dough between uses in a locking plastic bag or an air-tight container.

If your child feels like switching media -- or even doing mixed-media -- see the next page for instructions on making your own poster paints.

For more information on do-it-yourself projects, try the following links:

  • How to Choose Toys for a Child: Here you will learn about which toys are beneficial for stimulating your child’'s growth and development and which toys can be dangerous.
  • How to Mend Clothes: In this article, you will learn how to make your child’'s clothes last just a little bit longer by mending them yourself.
  • Consumer Guide: Educational Electronic Toys: Read Consumer Guide’'s reviews of the electronic toys that are available for your child.