Homemade Play Dough (With Jello!) For the Reluctant DIY-er

My eldest daughter, at age four, really likes playing in the sandbox and with play dough. She really needs to work with her hands in that way. Today is drizzly and cold, so the sandbox is out. All her play dough dried out a while ago. What to do with the looooong afternoon looming before me?

These days I avoid leaving the house when I am outnumbered by children. (I’m not brave like Ana.) So going out to buy more is out for now.

I’ve been reading about the DIY link-up at Time Flies. I didn’t plan to participate because, ordinarily, I hate crafting. I’m okay with DIY (do it yourself), but I don’t much care for DIM (doing it myself). I mean, why make play dough when I can buy a three-pack of it (off-brand) at the Dollar Tree? But like I said, going to the store this afternoon is O-U-T, so here I am throwing my hat into the crafting ring. (Does this count as crafting??)

Here’s the recipe I followed, from Modern Parents Messy Kids:

I saw that this recipe calls for Jello! and remembered an ancient box of Jello languishing in the back of my pantry. I don’t have food coloring on hand, so this seemed like the way to go.


The ingredients are here. (I don’t want to copy it without permission.) If you don’t have Jello, you can try this recipe. I haven’t tried it myself, but it’s from Martha Stewart. So it must be a good thing. 😉

We mixed all the ingredients. I didn’t have regular cooking oil, so I used extra-virgin olive oil. Nothing but the finest ingredients for my girls! It looked disgusting at first, but it worked out fine.

This is how it looked before cooking:


This is how it looked after about 15 minutes on the stove. I stirred almost constantly; amazingly, the girls amused themselves. It was the consistency of a store-bought tub of cake frosting.


I then kneaded it for another 15 minutes or so, adding about one-half cup flour a few spoonfuls at a time, until it was no longer sticky and felt like regular play dough.

IMG_1441[1] IMG_1439[1]


Be sure to read the directions here for all the details. Apparently this dough will last several weeks if you keep it covered and in the refrigerator.

Thank you Ana for hosting this link up!

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9 thoughts on “Homemade Play Dough (With Jello!) For the Reluctant DIY-er

  1. That is so cute!! And Miss Girl 1 looks so happy!
    Isn’t it great when you already have the ingrediants? I’m pretty sure that was how DIY (or DIM) started out–using stuff YOU ALREADY HAVE to make new, cooler stuff.

  2. PS–unrelated comment, but I have another blog request (what? Everyone needs a demanding commenter, right??) Bernadette and I were talking the other day about switching from formula/baby food to milk/regular food with Boy 1 Scanlon and Boy 1 Storey (ha!). Since Girl 2 is a master of eating everything, what foods have you introduced? How much baby food vs finger food vs formula is she eating every day? Do you puree your food, buy baby food, or just feed her what you are eating cut up into bite size pieces? And the million dollar question (on my mind, at least), when and how do you switch from formula to milk (and it buying organic worth it)?

  3. Yes, that counts as crafting. :)- What a fun project! I might have to bookmark this for the upcoming spring break…although Playdough in our house scares me. It just never seems to go well, and my efforts at the salt dough variety always have been rather “meh.”

  4. Pingback: An Ode To Jello | The Cheeky Diva

  5. Pingback: A Wet Sunday… | IQ WOMAN

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