What is a childhood without some easy homemade playdough?
It’s incredible for imagination, motor skills, and of course…fun! In my opinion, it’s the foundation of every young blooming mind and the perfect activity for a Friday afternoon.
I’m here to give you a recipe for homemade playdough with shaving cream (trust me on this one!).
I’ll include the incredible benefits of dough, how to make it more fun, and details on what you need to start. It’s a homemade no cook playdough guaranteed to be a treat.
RELATED: Did you know that playdough can also Improve Pencil Grip? Just one more reason to play.
What Are the Benefits of Homemade Playdough?
Homemade playdough is a sensory activity – play that uses sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.
When children roll, pinch, and squish, it enhances grip strength and hand movement control. It’s a simple way to improve fine motor skills for tying laces and writing.
Playdough is incredibly malleable, so kids can use their imagination to create different shapes, sizes, and worlds. When you give children additional homemade playdough tools, it can advance math and literacy.
How to Make Playdough More Fun
Even kids get bored, but the possibilities are endless when you add a few basic homemade playdough accessories. I’m not talking about fancy tools but using ‘loose parts.’
Loose parts mean anything you’ve got lying around the house without batteries (like pasta and buttons).
You have to push, pull, and play with them physically – just like when you used to manually wind down a car window. Does anyone else remember those days? I’ve added a list of ideas to get the ball rolling.
Introducing Loose Parts
How to play with playdough more cleverly?
Expand your preschooler’s creativity by incorporating Loose Parts.
What are loose parts?
British architect Simon Nicholson originally coined loose parts to describe open-ended materials that can be used and manipulated differently. (Nicholson 1971)
- They Challenge Creativity – Loose parts will challenge creativity to think outside of the box.
- No Battery and No Function Parts – Loose parts do not have a specific function or purpose. They are objects that do not have a button to push or preprogrammed intent. They also do not use batteries. If this sounds appealing to you, you should check out our favorite open-ended toys for all ages here.
“The process of unintellectual learning occurs through natural interaction with real things in the child’s environment. Loose parts are real things, ordinary things, ordinary objects, that when placed intentionally in infants’ and toddlers’ environment, support their cognitive growth through exciting discoveries” (Taken from Loose Parts 2, Inspiring Play with Infants and Toddlers)
Playdough is one of our favorite ways to increase fine motor strength!
Loose Parts You Can Use with Your Homemade Playdough
- Buttons – I love pressing buttons into it, and your kids will too. Seeing the playdough squish up through the button holes and introducing them to shapes is fun.
- Leaves – these make all sorts of outlines and patterns and are a lovely way to connect children to nature. It improves your little one’s concentration and fine motor skills because they must take care not to rip them.
- LEGO – a combination of pressing, making shapes, and building using playdough. What more could you ask for?
- Plastic Letters – incredible to introduce little ones to literacy.
- Uncooked Pasta – great to press into homemade playdough to make prints and shapes.
RELATED: Check out how we use loose parts in our ART CART.
Books That Encourage Play At Home
Simple Recipe for Homemade Playdough
This homemade no cook playdough is so straightforward you’ll be whipping it up in no time. It’s homemade playdough with shaving cream, which creates a smooth, silky texture.
- A Clean Surface – you don’t want your it picking up bits before starting, so wipe down the area when you begin.
- Cornstarch, 2 Cups – a white powdery substance found in most stores, cornstarch turns the cream into a malleable texture. It creates the resistance you need to mold the dough.
- Food Coloring – choose any color you like. Go mad and make every color of the rainbow!
- Shaving Cream, 1 Cup – provides moisture and gives the dough a soft, pleasant feel.
How to Make Easy Homemade Playdough
Step 1: Mix the shaving cream and cornstarch – combine the two ingredients and mix or knead. You’ll know if it’s blended when you can roll it into a smooth ball.
Step 2: Adjust the measurements – if your playdough is too crumbly, add more shaving foam. If it feels sticky, stir in extra cornstarch until the mixture is soft.
Step 3: Separate the mixture into equal parts or leave it as one ball – if you are making different colors, you need to section out the homemade playdough and add the color individually. However, if you’re making one batch of the same color, you can leave as is.
Step 4: Add the food coloring – select the color or colors you want (I personally love purple), then add a few drops into the mixture. The more food coloring you add, the stronger the color. Knead it in until you thoroughly combine it with the playdough.
Step 5: Store in an airtight container in the fridge – it lasts 1-2 weeks, giving your kids hours of fun!
Playdough is one of our favorite ways to increase fine motor strength.
Playdough is Simple, Quick, and Incredible for Childhood Development
This homemade playdough with shaving cream is fast, easy, and amazing at enhancing fine motor skills. Add loose parts like pasta to take it to the next level, providing countless learning opportunities and plenty of fun.
Playdough is a fantastic tool for sensory play. Find out how to introduce sensory play to your young child here.
Other Playdough Ideas
- Color Counting Bears
- Corks Craft sticks Funnels to imprint Glass Globs Leaves
- LEGOS – we store our LEGOS like this
- Lids from a Variety of Jars
- Mini Erasers
- Plastic Letters
- Random Kitchen Supplies
- Toy Eggs
- Uncooked Pasta
- Wooden beads
Just like this playdough exploration, Toddler Activities are best when they are kept simple.
RELATED: Want to elevate play dough to pottery? You will love this Clay Activity Post to get started!
Other Creative Playdough Ideas
Here are ways to change up your playdough from some of my favorite blogger friends!