When I was little, my mom used to keep a big bag of playdough in one of the lower cupboards so that my siblings and I could play with it in the kitchen while she cooked dinner, did dishes, etc. We sat in the booth in the breakfast nook and squashed it out across most of the table, cutting it with cookie cutters, shaping it into animals, and just generally making a mess and having fun. I still remember fondly the time that a friend and I dared each other to try a piece. Awful, salty, disgusting. The playdough was homemade, completely 'edible', but no one would actually want to eat the stuff.
When I got married, my mom passed the recipe on to me, for when I had kids of my own. I've been saving it, and Jonathan has just begun asking to play with playdough, so, after asking what color he wanted, I got to work.
This recipe is ridiculously easy to make, and you probably have most, if not all, of the ingredients in your cupboard already. When the dry and wet ingredients are combined, the consistency will be that of thick soup, but not to worry. As it cools, it will become the perfect playdough texture.
Playdough, from Gayle Van Camp
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
4 t. cream of tartar
2 cups boiling water
2 T. oil
Combine flour, salt, and cream of tartar.
Combine boiling water, oil, and food coloring.
Mix together with a spoon, working out most of the lumps. (The little lumps will be worked out by playful fingers later.) When cool, store in an airtight container or plastic bag. (I personally prefer the plastic bag because not only can you squish all the air out, but kids can operate them pretty easily.) Enjoy!