Why do little kids constantly refuse to eat while constantly putting everything non-food in their mouths? They turn up their adorable little noses at veggies but hide from adults so they can taste-test dirt, crayons, and carpet lint…not that I ever have carpet lint! Ha!
Long before my teenagers became teenagers I found an edible play dough recipe that was a big hit at our house. It was, after all, much tastier than carpet lint. I’d make it for snacks and put out some dry cereal or other go-alongs so the kids could create before they ate. Edible play dough also sounds weird enough to be cool for a little boy’s scout group but is simple enough to make in quantity for said group. We were stars at “creative cooking” night.
Then when I was leading the upper elementary book club at our home school co-op we spent a semester enjoying “My Side of the Mountain” by Jean Craighead George. Sam’s adventures captured the imagination of the energetic students and provided opportunities for lots of lively discussions and creative projects. Once such project involved our favorite edible play dough.
I made a huge batch and portioned it out into baggies. I took along inexpensive paper plates, pretzel sticks, and dry cereal. After our class discussion on the setting of the book and its importance to the story, I passed out the supplies and encouraged each child to create a model of Sam’s camp based upon the details they’d gleaned from their reading. My book clubbers were delighted! They had a blast building their camp sites and pointing out all of the details for me to admire. We took pictures and I provided larger zipper bags into which the kids could slide their models to share at home.
My teenagers and I still make edible play dough as a snack sometimes even though we generally don’t play with our food like they did when they were little. Maybe you’ll enjoy it, too!
Disclaimer: This recipe calls for peanut butter. If you are dealing with a peanut allergy in your family I’m guessing you’ll know far better than I how to substitute sunbutter or something similar to make this work for you. This recipe also calls for dried milk. If you are coping with a dairy allergy then this recipe might not be the best for you. I’m sorry! I hope you’ll find other recipes and content here that you can enjoy. I’m not a doctor or dietician, so as always you’ll want to do what’s best for your family.
Edible Play Dough
1 part creamy peanut butter
1 part dried instant milk
a drizzle of honey
a little cocoa powder (if you want chocolate edible play dough)
I’ve never measured for edible play dough. Just put a heaping spoonful of creamy peanut butter in a mug and add roughly the same amount of instant milk.
Drizzle in a little honey to sweeten it up.
Add a small spoonful of cocoa powder if you want chocolate. Remember that cocoa powder is bitter, so you might want a touch more honey if you use it.
Mix it up. If it’s too soft, add a bit more instant milk. If it’s too stiff, try a bit more peanut butter and/or honey.
Enjoy! If you make something cool out of your edible play dough, please post a picture on Facebook. I’d love to see it!
In what other ways might you use edible play dough as an educational tool?
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