The Easiest Last-Minute Gift Idea for Kids

If you’re scrambling for an easy last-minute gift idea for the kids in your life — whether it’s a stocking stuffer for your toddler or something little for your friends’ kids — I have the easiest idea that can cost next to nothing…


And not only do I have a recipe, but I happen to have the best recipe I’ve ever seen. The play dough comes out so soft and squishy — much softer than the store-bought versions! — that you’ll definitely want to make a few batches.

Here are the 3 easy steps for this last-minute gift, including the recipe:

  • Step 1. Cook Ingredients Over Medium Heat

    Step 1. Cook Ingredients Over Medium Heat

    Have your kids help measure out the ingredients (recipe below) and mix them all in one big pot. Then cook over medium heat, constantly stirring so the bottom doesn’t burn. Keep stirring until it becomes stiff (there will be lumps).

  • Step 2. Knead the Warm Play Clay

    Step 2. Knead the Warm Play Clay

    Put the freshly cooked play dough in a big bowl and knead until it’s soft and smooth. And I have to say, kneading warm, soft play dough is borderline therapeutic — so enjoy this step.

  • Step 3: Package + Play

    Step 3: Package + Play

    I packaged the play dough in little tins from Michaels, with a hand-written tag. But don’t forget to leave some extra for your kids to play with!


4 cups flour

2 cups salt

4 cups water

4 tbsp. cream of tartar

6 tbsp. vegetable oil

Food coloring (I used highly pigmented color gels, found at craft stores)


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