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5 DIY Mush-and-Gush Recipes Your Kids Will Love

It’s Saturday afternoon, you’ve got five hours until the kids go to bed, and you need a plan to keep them busy. Instead of doing a store-bought Play-Doh type activity, why not make a project out of it and create your own? Read on for five easy DIY mush-and-gush recipes that are not only fun to make, but fun to play with.

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1. Play dough


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 4 tablespoons Cream of Tartar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cups water
  • Dash of food coloring or liquid water colors


Add all of your ingredients into a large pot. Stir continuously over low heat until play dough reaches a squishy, but not tacky, consistency.


1. Overcooking results in a dry play dough, while undercooking results in a tacky play dough that sticks to everything. Trial and error is key here!

2. For more sensory stimulation, add essential oils for a nice scent (i.e. lavender, lemon, pumpkin, etc.) You can also add glitter, sand, coffee grounds, etc.

Image via Modern Parents Messy Kids

2. Moon Sand


  • 4 cups sand
  • 2 cups corn starch
  • 1 cup water


Combine sand and corn starch into a large bowl. Slowly pour in 1 cup of water into the mixture. Mix thoroughly.


1. The consistency should be similar to a crumbly pastry mix. If it doesn’t hold together when formed in a ball then add a tiny bit more water. It should not be wet, but slightly damp.

2. For some color and sparkle, add 2 tablespoons of colored powder paint and/or glitter.

3. For the best mixing use your hands! Have your little one help. It’s great for developing their fine motor skills.

Image via The Imagination Tree

3. Cloud Dough


  • 1 cup baby oil
  • 8 cups flour


Mix with your hands for about 5 minutes for the best consistency. It should become moldable but still quite dry.

Image via Tinker Lab

4. Colored Gak


  • 1 cup Elmer’s Glue
  • A few drops of food coloring (neon creates a brighter gak)
  • 1 cup liquid starch


Pour 1 cup of Elmer’s Glue into a plastic container. Add a few drops of food coloring and then stir until the color is thoroughly mixed. Add 1 cup of liquid starch little by little with a spoon or knead with your hands as the mixture thickens.


1. Keep stirring until the mixture holds like a putty.

2. Test it with your fingers. If it’s too sticky add more liquid starch in small amounts until the mass is smooth and rubbery.

Image via Lil Luna

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5. Oobleck


  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 1-2 drops of food coloring
  • ½ cup water


Pour 1 cup of corn starch into a large bowl or container. Add a couple of drops of food coloring. Slowly pour in ½ cup of water. Mix this concoction with your hands.


If you want the consistency to be a bit thinner add more water. If you want it to be a bit thicker add more cornstarch.

Image via Instructables

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