Cornmeal Dough by Kathryn Martinez

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This dough is grainy and gooey, but will air dry to a hard finish. You could paint it to make look like a concrete finish. This is another playdough that doesn’t require cooking at any stage.


1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
2/3 cup salt
1 cup water


1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir together.

2. Add enough water to make a dough, with no dry pockets.

3. Allow finished projects to air dry before painting.

4. Store any leftover dough in an air tight container.

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Alum Playdough by Kathryn Martinez

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"I'm told this is one of the best homemade playdoughs around. Even though it will air dry overnight, to keep it pliable for a couple of months all you have to do is keep it in an airtight container when you aren't playing with it. No refrigeration needed with this one. "


1 tablespoon alum (available in the grocery)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons vegetable oil


1. Combine the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.

2. Add the boiling water and the oil.

3. Mix thoroughly.

4. Add this point you can add tempera paints to create a desired color.

Model the dough and let it air dry overnight or store unused dough in an airtight container. - -

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Another Alum Variation: Just like the REAL Playdough (so they say)

1 cup flour
1 cup water
1 T oil
1 T powdered alum
1/2 cup salt
2 T vanilla
food coloring

Mix all dry ingredients. Add oil and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until reaching the consistency of mashed potatoes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and food coloring. Divide into balls and work in color by kneading.

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Coffee Grounds Playdough by Kathryn Martinez

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"I found this mixture hard to believe, but its great. What to do with the old coffee grounds can be a problem, unless you compost them. Here is a good recycling use for them and your kids will have a blast. There is no milk proteins or solids in this recipe so it is great for kids with milk allergies."

SUPPLIES: 2 cups used, dry coffee grounds ˝ cup salt 1 ˝ cups of cornmeal, plain – not self-rising warm water


1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.

2. Add enough warm water to moisten ingredients.

This dough has a very unique texture. Its great for rolling, patting, and pounding … which is great for little ones. Since you are using USED coffee grounds, there shouldn’t be any problem with staining. The cornmeal should absorb any remaining coffee coloring. Little ones seem intrigued by how this feels on their hands vs. how store-bought play dough feels. Because you control the moisture content you can make this as dry or as damp as you would like.

Rubbery Playdough

2 cups baking soda
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup cornstarch

Mix with a fork until smooth. Boil over medium heat until thick. Spoon onto plate or wax paper.

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Nature's Playdough

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 T oil
2 T cream of tartar
beet, spinach, and carrot juice

Mix flour, salt and oil, and slowly add the water.

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