In pursuit of a simple, fabulous, imperfect life at home.

Homemade Play Dough

In our house, play dough is worth it's weight in gold.  An affirmative answer to the question "Can we play with play dough?" causes a frantic and celebratory dash to the kitchen, complete with shouts and giggles of excitement.  My kids compose songs about play dough. They seriously love the stuff.

Here is my favorite recipe for homemade play dough:

1 cup white flour
1/2 cup salt
1 TBSP cream of tartar
1 TBSP oil
1 cup of water
Food coloring (optional)

Place the first 4 ingredients in a pot.  Add the water and stir well.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 4 minutes, until the mixture clumps and becomes very difficult to stir.  Remove from heat and knead warm dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth.  This is a good time to work in the food coloring, if you're using it. 

Wasn't that easy?

We keep our play dough in a zip-top bag in the fridge;  partly because I don't want the oil to start smelling rancid and partly because I don't want my youngest to get his hands on it and eat it. That much salt isn't good for anybody!

I divide the dough in half before kneading and make one color of play dough per child.  I used to think that more colors was better, but the kids have just as much fun creating with one color and we don't have the problem of it getting mixed together and turning into a big clump of brown.  Also, if each child has their own color, they don't fight over it!

I think the texture of this play dough is even better than the stuff you can buy at the store.  Why not try it and let me know what you think!?


  1. How very timely! My fourteen year old and I were cleaning out the four year old's toy box today and agreed that we need to get her some play dough.

    I will definitely try out this recipe and let you know what I think.

    Thanks for posting

    God Bless!

  2. My mom used to make me play dough when I was younger and I remember her colouring/ scenting it with a package of kool-aid.

  3. If you use baby oil insead of vegetable, it won't get rancid, smells better and makes your hands soft! Also, I would add favors to some to make it smell even better! Strawberry and Peppermint were our favorites (along with food coloring too!)

  4. I just made this for my kids and they LOVED it. Thanks for sharing!

  5. This is my favorite recipe as well.

    Anonymous...thank you for that baby oil tip. I'll use that the next time I make it!

  6. I tried this today with my three five year olds. It was wonderfully easy and fun. Thanks for sharing. Great recipe.

  7. Just made this! Great recipe! :D

  8. This recipe made up great, my kids are playing with it as I type.
    I linked to this on the blog on my website, I had to share this is literally the best play-doh recipe I have used to date.
    Thank you!

  9. You just reminded me I need to make play dough for my class! :)

    Ashley DeMazza
    Falls Village, CT


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