Impact Dash: Toddler Playdough

>> Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ever wonder what is in Playdough? It is best not to ask becasue no one knows. See below of April's Baby Steps Column or go here Pliable dough that’s not just non-toxic, it’s actually edible — and kind of delicious.

Toddler Playdough
by Stephaine Eads
April 15th, 2010

My daughter received a basket of gifts from my in-laws for Easter. One of the goodies inside was Play-Doh. I hadn’t really thought of giving Lil’E Play-Doh up to this point, and I was excited to see how she would react. Well, she was interested in it alright, interested in eating it. Lil’E was never the toddler that explored with her mouth, so this was uncharted territory for me. She teethed early and the worst case scenario was her using a hand as her teether. This left me perplexed as to what to do. She was enjoying herself so I didn’t want to take it away, but I needed to make sure what she was eating was safe. My biggest issue was trying to figure out what she was eating!

The packaging was very vague as to its contents. It assured that Play-Doh was non-toxic, but did warn that it contained wheat. This did not make me happy. If she is eating it, I wanted to know what was in it; so I set out to find a solution. I went as far as researching on the manufacturer’s website. This is what the Hasbro site stated:

The exact ingredients of PLAY-DOH compound are proprietary, so we cannot share them with you. We can tell you that it is primarily a mixture of water, salt and flour. It does NOT contain peanuts, peanut oil, or any milk byproducts. It DOES contain wheat. PLAY-DOH compound is non-toxic, non-irritating & non-allergenic except as noted: Children who are allergic to wheat gluten may have an allergic reaction to this product.

When I mentioned this problem to my mother, she laughed as I complained about Lil’E’s Play-Doh ingestion. Apparently Play-Doh was not purchased often in our house. Then, just like that, I had a recipe in my inbox for what she described as ‘Yummy Play-Dough.’

Yummy (and Safe) Play-Dough

3 1/2 cups peanut butter (creamy)
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 1/2 cups honey
4 cups dry milk powder

In large bowl combine together peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar. Beat in honey and fold in milk powder. Divide into portions and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

Could that be easier? There was no extra plastic packaging, and I had everything in my pantry already. I have to admit it was hard not to sample the concoction while molding a miniature puppy for Lil’E – at least I knew what was in this recipe! Now, this play-dough is only for children that have already been exposed to peanuts and honey with no known allergies. If your child does have a peanut allergy or you are nervous about the introduction of peanuts, try this alternate version:

Non-peanut Play-Dough

2 cups water
2 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Bring the water to a boil in a sauce pan, remove from heat and set aside. Whisk together the flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a large bowl. Stir the vegetable oil into the flour mixture using a spoon. Pour the hot water into the bowl and continue stirring. When the dough is cool enough to handle, turn it onto a lightly-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, approximately 10 minutes. Store unused portions in refrigerator.

This recipe is a little more complicated and not quite as yummy, but you still get the fun and the peace of mind knowing what is going in your child’s mouth. For a little extra fun add a drop or two of food coloring.