Cooking play dough produces a smoother finish on the dough, which prevents it from sticking to surfaces and makes it easier to pull and stretch. Children may participate in the cooking process, which takes about half an hour and requires the following material: 1 cup flour, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup salt, 1 tablespoon oil, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar and several drops of food coloring.
- Cook the play dough
Mix all the ingredients together in a large pot. Cook the dough over low heat until the substance is the consistency of mashed potatoes and a ball is formed. Don't worry about chunks falling off here because the play dough will achieve a silkier consistency once it has cooled.
- Add the food coloring
Once the ball has cooled somewhat, add the desired food coloring. Knead into a ball until it has achieved a uniform or desired shade throughout. Getting the right color may take some experimentation. For younger children, divide the larger ball into six pieces, and let the children choose the colors. If children are helping, their hands are likely to become stained with food coloring, which can be washed off easily.
- Cool and store the dough
Let the dough cool on aluminum foil. Store it in an airtight container to retain its moisture.