My son has started preschool this year and one of my immediate concerns was playdough. While my son is pretty good at not eating things that shouldn't be eaten he's still a little kid. Also, the cross contamination of playing with playdough and then touching his mouth and we are still not sure how sensitive he is to skin products containing gluten. Long story short I signed up to be playdough mom and I make gluten free playdough for the entire school. I have to make 5 batches every couple of weeks, and although this is an annoyance (and a cost), I feel a lot better knowing that he can happily play with the other kids and not get sick!
The first day I brought the playdough in, the teacher commented "This feels like regular playdough!". I was pretty happy, because I didn't want the kids to have to play with anything gross, I just wanted it to be 'regular'.
This recipe is from About.com and it works great every time. It cooks up the same as old school playdough (see recipe here), and seems to keep well and last about the same amount of time.
1/2 Cup Rice Flour (I've used brown and white with no difference, just don't use sweet rice flour!)
1/2 Cup Corn Starch
1/2 Cup Salt
2 Tsp. Cream of Tartar
1 Cup of Water
1 Tsp. Oil
Food Colouring (I prefer the paste food colouring, but liquid works well too. If using paste, make sure you use warm water as it mixes better.)
Mix together the dry ingredients in a pot. In a separate bowl measure water and add food colouring of your choice. Remember that the colour will lighten significantly once it is added to the dry ingredients and starts to cook. Add the oil to the water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and cook over medium - medium high heat until it forms a ball. Cook until no longer slimy. Stir constantly!! Remove from heat and let cool. Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag.
I'm busy compiling a list of other art supplies/crafts that can be done gluten free, as I try them out I will post them here!
Tip: This recipe does not double/triple well. You must make each batch individually. What I do is set out 5 small containers and 5 glasses. I measure all the flours out and colour all the water/oil mixtures before I start cooking anything. Then all I have to do is dump the dry ingredients in the pot, add the liquid and stir. 5 times over. But it's much easier then stopping to measure everything out every batch :)