Playdough was first invented in the 1930s and was originally sold and marketed as a wallpaper cleaner. In the 1950s, it was then marketed towards schools as a non-toxic arts and craft product and then later sold to families to enjoy at home. In the past 65 years since its creation, it is estimated that more than two billion tubs of playdough have been sold, and countless batches have been made at home for families and children to enjoy.
According to the company website and representative, Play-Doh is vegan. They do not test any of their products on animals, and there are no animal bi-products used in Play-Doh. Whether or not your particular playdough is vegan is entirely dependent on the type or brand of playdough you have, whether it is homemade or store-bought, and the ingredients used to make it.
Most playdough recipes were originally vegan because they were made with a basic recipe of only water, salt, and flour.
Over the years, things have changed. Nowadays, many modern types of playdough have many more ingredients, some that may even contain animal products.
For playdough to be considered vegan, there must be no animal products in the ingredients and no products that have been tested on animals.
There are many different types of playdough available on the market today, but for more creative playdough, you may need to make it at home with specialized ingredients.
Why Is Playdough So Popular?
Playdough is an amazing tool for children in so many ways.
- Playdough helps develop fine motor skills in young children as they play with it, roll it, and squish it, the playdough is helping them not only learn fine motor skills, but it also helps develop the tiny muscles in their hands.
- Playdough helps develop hand-eye coordination, and when you have playdough, you generally have the “tools” that go with it. You have the cookie cutters and the little rolling pins that help shape and mold the playdough.
- As well as these tools being extra fun for your kids, they also help young children learn how to use their hands and the tools to make the playdough into the image they imagine.
- Playdough promotes creativity. This is an obvious one, however, an essential one. Playdough helps kids use their imagination by creating objects out of nothing but a piece of clay. Imagining things in your mind and then creating them with your hands is an incredible life skill to have, and promoting that spark in early childhood is a wonderful thing.
- Playdough can be a great learning tool that teaches kids about colors, numbers, letters, shapes, and more.
- Learning can become far more exciting by simply letting kids use their playdough to roll out the numbers, shapes, and letters. Teaching them to spell their name when they get the chance to play with different colors of playdough instantly becomes more enticing, therefore grabbing their attention.
So, now that we have established why playdough is wonderful for a developing child, another question must be answered: which type of playdough is the best?
Which Type Of Playdough Is The Best Type Of Playdough?
The answer to this playdough question entirely depends on the age of your child and your family’s lifestyle. If you are in a vegan household, then choosing vegan playdough may be the best choice. However, it comes down to more than just your lifestyle.
What are the pros and cons of vegan and non-vegan playdough?
- Vegan playdough is completely free of chemicals, toxins, and harmful products.
- It is incredibly easy to make, and most households will already have all the ingredients to make it.
- If you have younger kids or toddlers at home, this is a great playdough to make because even if they eat it or end up putting their hands in their mouth constantly, it is a completely edible product that is safe to ingest. Even though it doesn’t taste all that great, it will not harm them at all.
- There are not many creative recipes for vegan playdough because many other products that are added to give cool textures and/or effects to the playdough may contain animal products, so there generally is not much of a variety.
- It may be more difficult to find, as it is held up to a much higher standard than regular playdough manufacturing. So, you may end up needing to make it yourself most of the time.
- There are so many creative ways to make weird and wacky kinds of playdough – different shapes, colors, and textures can be achieved by adding a wide range of products to your base recipe of flour, salt, and water.
- It will be easier to find it in common retail stores.
- Depending on the product and preservatives used in it, this playdough will usually last longer than vegan playdough before drying out.
- This playdough is suitable for older children who want to experiment with different playdough recipes.
- It can be toxic due to the added chemicals that are used in the playdough.
- It is less environmentally friendly than vegan playdough.
- This playdough is not recommended for younger children or toddlers, as it is not edible and could be toxic if ingested.
So, which playdough is the best playdough? Overall vegan playdough is probably better from all perspectives – it is safe for kids and toddlers of all ages (always under supervision, just because it’s not harmful does not mean you do not need to supervise their playtime), it is easy to make, it is inexpensive to make, and it helps in their development.
There are many different types of homemade playdough; each of them is different and made from different recipes.
Although most playdough recipes have the same basic ingredients, some people have put their own creative spin on their recipes to make their playdough, unlike any others.
Here are some of the best homemade playdough recipes that the world has to offer:
Super Stretchy Playdough/”Bubble Dough” Recipe
Bubble dough is a type of playdough that is almost a combination of slime and playdough – super cool, right?
The ingredients for this playdough are:
- 1 Cup Cornstarch
- 1/2 Cup Shampoo
- Glitter (optional)
This type of playdough can be completely vegan, depending on the type of shampoo you are using. As long as you use a vegan-friendly shampoo, this one goes on the ‘vegan playdough’ list.
Glitter Glue Salt Playdough Recipe
Glitter glue salt playdough is more similar to regular playdough in texture; however, it is slightly different because of the glitter glue used in it.
The ingredients used are:
- 1 cup of salt1 cup of flour
- and 1/2 cup water
- and 1/4 cup of glitter glue
This playdough is not vegan due to the glitter glue that is used in it.
Glitter glue contains a product called isinglass, a substance derived from fish bladders and animal remains commonly from cows, pigs, or horses.
Crayon Salt Playdough Recipe
Crayon salt playdough is a super cool and super creative playdough.
For color and texture, crayons are melted and added into this recipe – crazy, right? But very creative.
The ingredients used are:
- 2-3 chopped crayons
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup of salt
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup of water
Even though this is a great playdough recipe, not only is it not vegan, it is not even considered vegetarian.
Crayons contain rendered cow fat, which is what gives them that distinctive “crayon smell.”
Now for a fun and yummy playdough.
This recipe uses:
- 6 x large marshmallows
- 3 tablespoons of corn starch, and a little extra for kneading
- 2 tsp coconut oil (most other oils will work as well)
- food coloring
Although a lot of playdough can be considered edible, this one is tasty as well!
However, because of the Marshmallows in this recipe, it is also not vegan. Marshmallows contain gelatin, an ingredient derived from collagen taken from animal parts.
Vegan or not, playdough is a great toy for kids and can be used in many creative and educational ways.
Although not all playdough is vegan, vegan playdough is absolutely wonderful and could possibly be the best playdough you can buy or make at home.
Like that old saying goes: “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”
Vegan playdough was made perfect in the 1950s, and even though you can add many things to playdough, vegan playdough is still perfect now as it was then.
There are many different recipes for playdough out there. Take the time to experiment and find the recipe that you like best.
Article checked by:
Dr Binu George – Consultant General Pediatric
(MBBS, FRCPCH, Dual CCST (UK), Paediatric Neurodisability)
Head Of Department, Child Development Department at
NMC Royal Hospital, Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates