If you have no idea what to buy for your friend’s kid birthday, here you will find a creative idea that you could do yourself and have some fun too!
Admittedly, it would be easier to just pop down to the shops and buy a toy, or pre-made play dough, but where’s the fun in that?!
This is a money-saving, very personal present that any toddler would love!
You could adapt the colours, scents and themes of the play-dough, depending upon the child that the gift-pack is for. So how did I do it?
I used my super-soft, long-lasting basic play dough recipe, adapted from many I have tried and tested over the months. The great thing is, it doesn’t matter about the quality of the ingredients, so just use the cheap stuff! See the bottom of the post for my recipe.
Starry Sky Dough
Simply follow the basic play-dough recipe (or any of your own preffered basic play dough recipes,) adding black food colouring, glitter stars and gold glitter!
I included some gold and silver foil cupcake cases, with some glow-in-the-dark stars, as accessories for this play dough.
Ocean Blue Dough
To create a marbled effect, I just added the food colouring at the end, with a little glitter and didn’t mix it fully.
For some additional sensory play, I included small pebbles and glass beads to enhance the experience with this play dough.
Natural Rosemary Dough
Follow the basic recipe, then just add fresh rosemary leaves! Simple!
(Note that it doesn’t keep for as long due to the rosemary leaves in it, but it smells divine!)
I added some wholemeal pasta shapes to give a natural look and create an opportunity for some interesting prints to be made in the dough.
Green food colouring, ripped mint-leaves and a teaspoon of peppermint extract.
Some googly-eyes completed the look, with some buttons to encourage pattern-making and further decorating of the monster.
Again, because of the fresh mint-leaves, this won’t last as long as the plain versions.
I presented the gift pack on a foil tray from the supermarket, for tray-bakes! I labelled the play dough to give a little theme and inspiration, then wrapped each dough up in cling-film.
The accessories were presented in cleaned-out gu-pots (there are only so many gu-pot tea-light holders a girl can have in the house!)
I hope that you can take some inspiration from this… the great thing is, there are so many recipes and versions of play dough online that you can mix and match your favourites to really personalise it for the little one you’re making it for.
An individual ball of homemade play dough with some cheap accessories like buttons would also make a lovely end-of-term present from teachers to pupils!
Makes a big-batch, for approximately 6 balls of play-dough the size shown in the image:
- 800 grams of plain flour
- 400 grams of table salt
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- A teaspoon of conditioner (for added softness!)
- 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
Food colouring, if required (take care: may stain clothes and your hands! Gel colours seem to work better than liquid ones… I suggest you wear rubber gloves to avoid getting ‘smurf-hands’ like I did!)
Approximately 200ml boiling water (add a little at a time until the consistency is right!)
1. Mix the flour, salt, oil and cream of tartar in a large bowl.
2. Carefully add the boiling water, a little at a time and stir with a wooden spoon.
3. Once the consistency is sticky and the ingredients have come together, mix in the food colouring (if required,) with the tablespoon of conditioner. If you would like a scented play dough, then add any wet ingredients at this stage now, too.
4. Knead it together, ensuring that the centre of the play dough gets the colour running through it, too. If it’s still sticky, just add a small amount of plain flour.
Store the play dough in an airtight container – it keeps for around 4 months, depending upon how much it’s played with.