Playdough is a huge hit with my toddler and to be honest, I love the stuff too. I find it's very therapeutic to squish in my hands, very destressing! I make playdough about every two to four weeks and I really can't figure out why people bother buying the stuff when it's SO simple to make!
Here's some of my favourite recipes for homemade playdough:
Basic no-cook Playdough
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
4 tsp. cream of tartar (you can find this in the bulk section)
4 tsp. oil
2 cups boiling water.
Mix dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add oil and boiling water and mix until combined. Turn over onto counter and knead together, careful though as it may still be hot. You can add more flour if needed.
You can add a few drops of food colouring or even a package or two of unprepared Kool-aid for some colour (the kool-aid also adds a yummy scent). Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to make it smell good or add glitter, sand, etc for texture. My favourite add in for playdough in the winter is to leave it white but add some silver glitter and some mint extract.
For toys, I have in our bucket some rolling pins, small dull knives, a muffin tin, cookie cutters, scissors (although Parker is still a little young for scissors), popsicle sticks, sea shells, twigs, small rocks, etc.
Go ahead, make up a batch today for both you and your little ones. I promise you'll have just as much as they will!