My philosophy on playing with children includes this: preparation and cleaning up is part of the fun. Don’t do it all yourself. Play dough is a great resource to have on hand, and making your own is a good idea. Children will LOVE making it with you. And they can, even the small ones. Apart from manual skills like tipping, and mixing, they will learn about measuring and numbers. I think I got this recipe from Play School. I’ve used for decades.
Combine 1 cup of plain flour and 25 grams of Cream of Tartar and 1/4 cup of salt
Add 1 tablespoon of oil to 2/3 cup of water and drop in some food colouring
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and combine
Cook in the microwave for 1 minute, stir well, and cook 3 minutes more
Knead well (when it has cooled a little) and have fun
This play dough will keep in the fridge for a very long time if kept in an airtight container. I wrap it in a plastic bag and then put it in the container.