It seems that kids of (mostly) all ages love playdough. It makes sense, really, because it's sculpt-able, squish-able, and colorful AF. You can build with it, cut it up, roll it up, smooth like pie dough, and, for those above the socially acceptable age to play with playdough, use it as a make-shift stress reliever. For some kids, however, this substance could actually be hazardous so it's important to know how to make safe playdough, just in case.
I know — you thought all playdough was safe for kids. But there are several ingredients in either commercial or homemade playdoughs that could pose a problem. According to Hasbro, the company behind Play-Doh, the commerical product contains wheat, making it harmful to kids with gluten allergies. Some recipes for homemade playdoughs also contain wheat flours and salt, which can be dangerous for toddlers, according to Very Well. The site noted that it only takes about a half an ounce of salt to cause harm to a toddler that weighs 28 pounds. Although your little one probably won't eat enough playdough in one sitting for it to be dangerous, the VeryWell article recommended calling poison control and making sure your child drinks a ton of water to counteract the intake of salt.
Making safe playdough is totally doable, you just have to find the right recipe for you. Once you do, you and your kiddos will be rolling, sculpting, and squishing before you know it.
You can also use a powdered drink packet to make homemade playdough. Playdough Recipe's Kool-Aid playdough is salt-free and uses cream of tartar in place of alum. You have to cook it a bit to get the dough to come together and it may turn out sticky, but that can be resolved by kneading in a little more flour.
Using cornstarch to make playdough is a great idea because it's gluten-free. That means that even if your little ones can tolerate gluten, you don't have to worry about friends who are gluten-intolerant getting sick. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology's cornstarch playdough recipe is allergy-free, which is excellent.
Come Spring, Peeps show up in just about every store that sells treats. Buy some when they get marked down after Easter and make Growing A Jeweled Rose's Peep playdough.
4Peanut Butter Playdough
Obviously, All Recipe's peanut butter playdough won't work for those with peanut allergies, but it might be a good option for other . It's only a few ingredients, so it comes together very quickly. If your little one can't handle dairy, make sure they don't eat it, as it contains powdered milk.
6All Natural Playdough
If you're worried about using artificial dyes, make Very Well's all natural playdough instead. Beets, carrots, turmeric, cumin seeds, spinach, and blueberries or blackberries can all make good dyes. Find a
All you need is flour, water, and some oats to make Very Well's oatmeal playdough. It's sticky, but can be used similarly to clay.
One Little Project's marshmallow playdough is super simple and sweet. It's also completely edible, so you don't have to worry if your toddler takes a taste or two.