I work at a great daycare and one thing that we use a lot is homemade playdough. I've had parents request recipes for this and it lasts way longer than the store bought. It doesn't dry out for months and you can make several variations using different food coloring as well as scents such as vanilla, peppermint, and even cinnamon. It is easy for little toddlers to mold and shape and is vital for strengthening their tiny muscles. What's better yet is that it's non-toxic and won't hurt if eaten. It just tastes nasty! (It's even fun for up to 10 yr. olds even though they don't like to admit it...) Have fun, try it and see what your children think!
3 cups Flour
1 1/2 cups Salt
3 cups Water
3 TB vegetable oil
6 tsp Cream of Tartar
Food coloring or unsweetened Kool-Aid pkg for color.
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and gets too thick to stir. Remove from heat and let cool until it can be handled. Place on counter or wax paper and knead several times until smooth. Store in an air-tight container.