In my last playdough post, we chatted about how I love the idea of having playdough that’s fun for my little one and totally stress free (aka, gluten free) for me. Since then, I tried the new playdough recipe that I mentioned from Fun at Home with Kids. And now I’m back with my report.
First Try: Cooked GF Playdough
As a quick summary, our first homemade gluten-free playdough experiment (recipe here from Wellness Mama) was a mixed success. We were able to cook the dough, but it turned out to be a longer and stickier process than anticipated. The finished dough was usable, but it was a little hard to mold for tiny fingers, and it probably wouldn’t have worked with traditional playdough tools. Our son had fun with it, but he moved on after a few minutes of play. I probably spent more time making the playdough and scrubbing out the pan than he did enjoying it. We saved it for another day, but I’m not sure he ever actually played with it again for more than a couple of minutes.
Second Try: No-Cook GF Playdough
Our experiment with the edible no-cook playdough (recipe) was a totally different story. We followed the recipe exactly the first time (1 cup baby rice cereal, 1 cup cornstarch, 1/2 cup applesauce, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil). For some reason, our batch turned out super oily. We added a little cornstarch to see if that would help (I’m not sure it did). Despite the oil, our son had a lot of fun. The consistency was much more workable for his small hands. The next day, the playdough was rock hard, and I wasn’t able to restore it by working it with a little water (as the original post suggests).
Third Try: Adapted No-Cook GF Playdough (WIN!)
For Christmas, our little one got an awesome playdough tools set, so of course we made another batch of the no-cook playdough. This time, I started with just 1 tablespoon of oil. That wasn’t quite enough, so I added a little extra applesauce and another 1/2 tablespoon of oil. The consistency was amazing, and this time we didn’t end up with a super oily table or hands. I think this batch got three hours of almost uninterrupted playtime. It worked perfectly with our new tool set! The playdough was rock hard again on the second day, but this time I was able to salvage the dough by working it with a little water. It’s easier to do in small increments or with the help of a ziploc bag that holds everything more or less together.
Since then we’ve made playdough one more time, following our adapted recipe (1 cup baby rice cereal, one cup cornstarch, 1/2 cup applesauce+more as needed, 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil). It’s super easier to dump everything in a bowl and just knead it together with bare hands. I really like the approach of starting with less oil and working up to the right consistency. It doesn’t give me an exact recipe to share, but it means you could make your own great product even with differences in humidity or altitude. I’m not sure why, but this batch of playdough was still soft and usable the next morning. GF miracle!!
Someday I’d love to find a gluten-free playdough recipe that’s cheap and easy to make but also saves really well. For now though, I’m really happy with our adaption of the no-cook recipe. It’s perfect for these freezing, icy winter days we’ve been having when it’s hard to go out and play.
P.S. We didn’t eat any of the playdough 😉