Beet-y Playdough


I made some homemade playdough today using this great recipe (found via Crafty Crow) tweaked ever so slightly (you know me) by omitting the Koolaid and substituting natural beet dye for the water. The Koolaid gives a rich, intense color, but I knew my kids would end up eating all that yummy-smelling dough. I’m also trying to avoid shelling out the big bucks for the natural food dyes from Whole Foods, so decided to go the cheap crafty route.


I made the dye by cooking down beet greens in about 2 cups or so of water (enough to cover) for about an hour, then left it on the stovetop to cool overnight. I got a little less than 1 cup of liquid so added some water to make 1 cup as the recipe called for, then followed the recipe from there. The best part is kneading that nice warm dough at the end, especially on a rainy, cold day like today.


The color would probably be more intense if I included the actual beets, but they’re just too yummy for me to sacrifice and I’m happy with the cute salmon pink color. I also tried cooking down some carrot greens, but they emitted a puke green color and I didn’t want to scare my children away from playdough for life. So we’ll stick with pink for now!


If you try this, have faith. When I first started cooking the dough I didn’t think the liquidy slop would ever form a ball and I started to convince myself that the beet juice was throwing off the chemistry. But lo and behold, a ball formeth!!

My mom found a cool set of wooden playdough toys at the thrift store, so we're all quite the happy playdough peeps!


Selina said...

Good idea, I just heard about food colourings made with petroleum. How charming, just what our kids need...not!

rachel whetzel said...

I LOVE what you did with the beets!! So glad you agree that they are too yummy to use the BEET in it. That color is amazing!!
So far, no one has eaten the playdough we've made with the koolaide powder... smells great, but tastes NASTY so they don't go for it. Not even the toddlers I used to teach. Really liking the beet alternative, though!!

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Great idea Melissa to uses beets as colouring! I used to love playing with playdough when my 2 where small. I always get quite nostalgic when I read your posts and see all the fun stuff you are doing.

tracey@paperdollsforboys said...

My head is hung low thinking about the store bought play dough we used today! Beets?! You're making the rest of us look bad! :)

www.pepperpaints.com said...

Great idea to use the beets. I bought the natral dyes and they don't tast too good! Great thrift store finds. www.pepperpaints.com

semiramis said...

what a great color! be sure that it will be the exactly same color if you use the pulp of beet also. because, as you've probably noticed, beet gives all its color to the water.
i am also using beet for pink dough, spinach for the green and carrot or pumpkin for the orange.
this way is much much more safe than the any kind of dye or powder.
with love,

the collective said...

What a cool idea! I'm not a beet-eater, although my kids can't get enough. That and pickles...go figure! I just wanted to let you know that I linked to your post from my blog: