How to make your own playdough

How to make your own playdough

If you’re looking for a great quiet game that will occupy a child for hours, play dough may be the answer. Here are a few simple recipes to make play dough at home with a minimum of ingredients.

Basic Recipe (may be doubled)

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons cream of tartar
Assorted Food Coloring

Uncolored play dough: In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix the ingredients together with a wooden spoon. Stir constantly until the mixture forms a ball. Pour the play dough ball out onto a clean work surface and knead for two to three minutes. The ball will be hot at first so be careful when you start the kneading process. Allow the play dough to cool completely. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. The playdough should last several weeks with proper storage.

Colored Playdough: To produce pastel-colored play dough, use the same basic playdough recipe but add the color medium before the cooking process. To produce bright, vivid colored playdough, add the color medium during the kneading process. Liquid food coloring, frosting paste, or powdered tempera paintwork well in this basic recipe. Here’s another great playdough recipe that’s actually good enough to eat.

Edible Play Dough

1 cup powdered milk
1 cup creamy peanut butter

In a small mixing bowl, combine the powdered milk and peanut butter. Add enough honey to reach the desired consistency. If the play dough lasts after playtime, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Note: As this recipe includes honey and peanut butter, please make yourself aware of any potential food allergies a child may have prior to choosing this recipe. Here’s another edible recipe that converts quick-cooking oatmeal into play-dough.

Oatmeal Play dough
1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup water

In a large mixing bowl, mix the oatmeal, flour, and water together thoroughly. If the dough is too wet, add additional flour. Turn the playdough onto a floured surface and knead it until it’s smooth. Add food coloring to the dough during the kneading process. Store the play dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. This is an easy playdough recipe that also smells great.

Kool-Aid Playdough

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups boiling water
2 packages unsweetened Kool-Aid

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Carefully add the vegetable oil and boiling water. When the play dough comes together, pour it out onto a clean work surface, and knead for several minutes. You might want to consider plastic gloves for this recipe as the Kool-aid may stain your hands. Store the play dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Everyday kitchen utensils make great tools for playing with play dough. A rolling pin, a few cookie cutters, and a plastic spatula can turn any child into a great chef. If you choose to use powdered tempera paint, mix it with a little bit of liquid starch to get a nice glossy color.

Playdough is not made to play within the water. Keep your play area and hands dry or you may have quite a mess. As playdough and water don’t mix, attempting to clean up a play dough mess that has landed on the carpet or floor with water will only increase the mess. Let it dry out and it will vacuum up easily.