Hands kneading play dough made with oat flour.
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Oat Play Dough

We were looking for some kid-friendly crafts and activities, and wondered what we could whip up with oats. Oats have a wide range of non-food related uses, as we saw a few months ago with our post on using oats to make Soothing Summer Remedies.

This week, we’re looking at how you can use oats to make play dough – a fun, safe craft material for the little ones in your life. This recipe is all-natural, making it perfect for curious minds that like to investigate everything to the fullest extent of all five senses.

To make this play dough, you’ll need 1 cup of oat flour, 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup boiling water and, if you want colored dough, food coloring or natural dye of your choice. One batch of dough is a good amount for one child to play with, or you can multiply the quantities to accommodate more children.

First things first – you need oat flour. We buy our oat flour at bulk food stores, but you can also make your own. Simply pulse rolled oats in a food processor or coffee grinder until you have a fine powder. You might end up with some larger pieces; we recommend sifting those out. In general, store-bought oat flour is a bit finer than what you can make at home.

Once you have your oat flour, combine with all-purpose flour and stir until well-mixed. Carefully add boiling water, stirring until mixture forms a dough. Let stand until it is no longer hot to the touch.

Turn dough out onto a clean counter and knead until smooth. If you wish to make several colors, divide dough into one ball per color. Place each ball into a separate zip-top bag, add a couple drops of food color and seal. Squish the bag until the color is worked into the dough, then remove from bag and knead until smooth and evenly tinted. Now you can let the kids craft to their heart’s content!

The dough stays soft and workable for several hours, long enough for lots of sculpting and re-sculpting.

And, if you want to immortalize your child’s creations, it couldn’t be easier – there’s no baking involved. The dough will dry and harden overnight if left out at room temperature.

Oat play dough is so easy to prepare and fun to sculpt with, it will become a new go-to craft for your kids!

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