Gooey Silly Putty for Preschoolers

Your preschooler will love this recipe for silly putty and enjoy the quality time making it with parents.


You can change the consistency of homemade silly putty by changing the amount of salt in the mixture.

Photo by Fotolia/Oksana Kuzmina

Content Tools

In The No-Nonsense Guide to Green Parenting (Green Books, 2016) author Kate Blincoe explains that it’s not about being perfect — it’s about giving it a try, feeling the benefits for your family, and having fun while you do it. This guide provides essential advice on food and eating, eco-buying, learning and playing, family-friendly foraging, growing plants and food with your family, green days out, activities and parties, green parenting in the city, and balancing your green ideals in a busy life. Kate’s pragmatic approach will inspire you to balance green living with the realities of raising children. This ooey-gooey squishy recipe for silly putty will thrill your preschooler.

Gooey Silly Putty for Preschoolers

This stuff is like Play-Doh but more moldable. You can alter the consistency by changing the amount of Epsom salts you add – less for a gunkier, stickier feel and more for a firmer pliable texture which will bounce if made into a ball, or copy newsprint off a newspaper.

(Older children may be interested to learn that this is a process called polymerisation, whereby small molecules join together to make long ones. Handy knowledge for GCSE science.)

You will need:

• 1/2 teaspoon Epsom salts
• 1/2 teaspoon water
• 2 small cups or bowls
• food coloring
• 1 tablespoon white glue
• a craft stick for stirring


1. This makes an egg-sized portion of putty ideal for one child to play with. Simply multiply the recipe for more.

2. Stir the salts into the water in a small cup or bowl until it has mostly dissolved (it may not do so completely).

3. Add in a few drops of food coloring.

4. Now add this mixture to your glue in another bowl and stir with the craft stick until it becomes moldable.

5. Store in a sealed pot in the fridge – it should last for a few months. For easy tidying up, play with it on grease-proof paper.

More from The No-Nonsense Guide to Green Parenting:

Tips for Choosing Environmentally Friendly Toys
Sensory Bottles for Babies
Making an Eco-Friendly Jump Rope

Reprinted with permission from The No-Nonsense Guide to Green Parenting by Kate Blincoe and published by Green Books, 2016.