Homemade Play Dough
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Homemade Play Dough



One of the greatest gifts I was given when I married my husband was an amazing mother-in-law. She's sweet, easy-going AND a pre-school teacher. Talk about a trifecta!

She's always shares her wise advice about all issues pertaining to young kids. One of the most fun activities she does with her classes is make play dough. She says the kids take such pride in making what they play with and I found that very in line with my own philosophy about kids taking part in helping make their own meals.

We prepared this recipe with Kenya and he had a blast. It only took us minutes to make 3 batches so we could have 3 different colors and the recipe makes tons!

Homemade Play Dough

  • Cook Time: 3 mins,
  • Rating:
    Rate this recipe
One of the greatest gifts I was given when I married my husband was an amazing mother-in-law. She's sweet, easy-going AND a pre-school teacher. Talk about a trifecta! She's always shares her wise advice about all issues pertaining to young kids. One...


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup table salt (such as mortons)
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • food coloring (you can use as much or as little as you want depending on how intense you want the color)


  1. 1. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan or pot and stir with a
  2. wooden spoon over low heat until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. 2. Remove from the pot and place on a counter top or a piece of waxed or parchment paper.
  4. 3. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. 4. You’re ready to play! (Make sure to keep it in a ziploc bag or tupperware to retain it’s moisture when you’re not using it).
Homemade Play Dough

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  7. garland.jenny

    February 10, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Has anyone made this gluten free? I’m going to try using Glutino flour and see how it goes!

  8. Emma Voigt

    October 16, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Would like to be added to your emailing list.. Many thanks..

  9. AJ

    August 16, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Add sparkles for extra fun!

  10. Leah

    January 9, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I made this today with my 18 month old and she LOVED it! She did eat a little bit but after she realized it wasn’t very tasty she just played with it. She actually played with it for about an hour. It was amazing! Thank you for this recipe!

  11. GF New Mama

    January 6, 2013 at 2:30 am

    Has anyone tried to make this GF? :)

    If so, Does it come out OK?

  12. aryanna

    December 18, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    i mean tartar

  13. aryanna

    December 18, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    can i use baking powder instead of cream of tartae

  14. Brittany

    December 15, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Dogs and cats

    • Folkza

      February 1, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      hello! great to get a comment all d way fm Louisiana!this is d wornedful thing about blogging–i get to ‘meet’ ppl fm all around d world!do keep in touch n if i can help with ur cooking (i have a good scones recipe fm my friend), just ask me.

  15. EMILY

    December 10, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    i dont have cream of tartar so i would like to know if i can use baking powder instead and still turn out as play dough not that sticky soupy stuff…?

    • Geoff

      August 28, 2014 at 10:53 am

      Please try SpicesForLess.com for Cream of Tartar and salt (along with 450 other spices and seasonings as well!!)

  16. Drake's mamma

    October 29, 2012 at 2:34 am

    Hi – I live in Switzerland, and can’t seem to find cream of tartar anywhere! I don’t suppose you know of a European equivalent?

    • catherine

      October 29, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      You might find it under the name tartaric acid or potassium tartare!

  17. rimazat

    October 16, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    It is raining. I want to make play dough. I do not have cream or tartar. Please tell me i Ii can leave it out or use a substitute? Two others have asked this question too, PLEASE help. Thanks in advance

    • catherine

      October 17, 2012 at 11:54 am

      Yes, the cream of tartar is necessary to get the right consistency of the playdough!

  18. Lindsey

    September 20, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    My Grandma use to make this, my mom made it for me, and I make it for my kids. I was a preschool teacher and tried out all kids of different recipes. This one was the best. I have never had it dry out on me. It was even in our moving truck in 112* weather .We moved across the country . Still soft as can be. Just keep it in a baggy =)

  19. Karen

    September 10, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    I think the reason she didn’t use the Kool-aid is because it has food additives and dyes in it. Obviously though this is not a food, so making the Kool-aid one (for older kids who won’t be tempted to eat it) wouldn’t be a big deal.

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  21. Sarah

    October 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    My son and I made this today – it was great! The only thing is that after 2-3 min of cooking mine was like Holly’s above (like a cooked cereal consistency). I found that I had to cook it for more like 10-15 min before it formed a ball and wasn’t sticky.

  22. holly

    October 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    ok…not soupy, but farina cereal-like…not like store bought playdough… any tips?

    • catherine

      October 5, 2011 at 2:25 pm

      Hmm, Ive made this recipe plenty of times, did you use anything different than what the recipe calls for?

      • holly

        October 7, 2011 at 11:57 am

        I took it off the heat too soon and thought it would “harden” during the kneading process. Watched the video and saw that I didn’t cook it long enough!! SO, re-cooked it and made a new batch perfectly. It is amazing!!!

        My only question is do you store it in the fridge or just at room temperature.


  23. holly

    October 5, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    mine is turning out soupy…any advice.

    @ erinn would love to know your recipe for finger paint!

  24. Emily Clarke-Haughn

    October 5, 2011 at 9:42 am

    I found it was a little sticky when we were kneading it , we just had to add a little flour to make it not stick to our hands but thanks for the idea , perfect when your stuck inside on a rainy day like today.

  25. Erinn

    October 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I’m definitely going to try this. I make my own finger paint so I’m excited to add play-dough to the fun. They’re both so easy and great for a last minute activity.

  26. Sarah

    September 30, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    How long does the play-doh last? I am excited to try this!

  27. Kelly

    September 30, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Is the cream of tartar necessary or be substituted with something else?

  28. Jennifer

    September 30, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Great recipe! We use the same one except instead of food coloring use sugar-free Koolaid to color and make the play-doh smell good. It works fantastic and doesn’t taste good if eaten!!

  29. Joanna

    September 30, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I love this! My daughter is 20 months old and this sounds like a fun rainy-day thing to keep the little rascal busy! Yay!

  30. Amanda

    December 27, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Awesome recipe! I recently found a really nice Cinnamon Play Dough recipe that is really similar except you use whole wheat flour and five tablespoons of cinnamon. no food coloring is used. add water if it gets to dry.

  31. Shelly

    February 19, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    I love your blog! I remember making play dough when I was in school. I would love to make some today, but I don’t have cream of tartar. Is there a substitute for it?

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