Easy-peasy playdough recipe

On Sunday morning, I whipped up some homemade playdough for the kids. It took maybe 20 minutes from start to finish and was so easy it left me wondering why I never made it myself before!

our playdoughPlaydough

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
food coloring

Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil, and slowly add the water. Cook over medium heat, stirring until dough becomes stiff. Turn out onto wax paper and let cool. Knead the playdough with your hands until of proper consistency. Use as is, or divide into balls and add a few drops of the food coloring to make various colors.

I love how soft it turned out and the unique colors. If the kids didn’t love it so much, I think I could spend hours just playing with it myself. :)

Julian and Ava reaching for the playdough

Here are some variations of the playdough recipe.

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26 thoughts on “Easy-peasy playdough recipe

  1. how fun! I use a similar recipe but I color mine with packets of kool-aid. Adds a nice scent to the mix and well we don’t drink it around here so we find other ways to use it :)

    (I usually dye yarn with kool aid)

  2. Oh how I miss the playdough years!

    We used to make the playdough with Kool-aid too. Smells nice and the colors are out of this world. However, it probably has horrible chemicals in it.

    We used to give candy cane playdough scented with peppermint essential oil to our preschool friends for the holidays. I’m not sure about the edible-ness of peppermint oil, can’t remember back that far!

    I can still smell your recipe on the stove. Not pleasant, but brings back happy memories.

  3. It’s been awhile since I made play-dough and I really should do it again. You’re right that it is surprisingly easy. I like to use cool-aid (or generic equivalent) for coloring as well.

  4. It’s been awhile since I made play-dough and I really should do it again. You’re right that it is surprisingly easy. I like to use cool-aid (or generic equivalent) for coloring as well.

  5. Wow. That brings back memories. I remember using that stuff in preschool! (And tasting it — too salty/yucky to actually eat!). Do you know if this recipe can also be baked/dried to make ornament? I think we did that in preschool too…

    I also love the idea of using Koolaid for colors, I’d never drink the stuff, but that is clever!

  6. i always put baby oil in my playdough instead of just cooking oil – it does not go rancid as fast. not really all that edible, but Josh is past the point where i worry about that.

  7. We haven’t made any in a while but Reid’s favourite part is always kneading the colour into the ball. I keep it in the fridge and then it lasts and lasts. I’ve been thinking of dough ornaments this year. They’ll be fun, too, I would imagine.

  8. They look fab, I’m going to make my own when our batch of store-bought own-brand non-stinky (I went around smelling them!) stuff eventually dries out :) I shall kepp your recipe handy for then!

  9. We made this today… felt inspired! Thanks! Did you get the food coloring all over your hands when kneading the color into the play-dough? Or did I miss something? Thanks Amy!

  10. I can’t stand the smell of PlayDoh! Even though it say it’s non-toxic, I always wonder what that wierd chemically scent is that seems so impossible to wash off of little hands (and mine!) Thanks for posting such a great alternative.

    Another fun idea is to scent the homemade playdough with spices like pumpkin pie spice for orange, cinammon with red, vanilla for white and lemon extract for yellow. I got this idea from my daughter’s preschool a few years ago.

  11. this is pretty similar to my recipe. i think mine has a little more flour. i use kool-aid for the coloring and it adds a nice scent too.

    keep it in the fridge and it will last forever. unless your kids sneeze on it.

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  13. While the play dough is fresh and your feet are clean, drop it on the kitchen floor, put on a CD, and dance on it barefoot. You won’t be sorry.

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  17. finally got around to doing this today – the recipe doesn’t seem to say when to add the cream of tartar. i added it after stirring in the water but before cooking and that seemed to work.

    i wonder if i can feed it to the chickens when it starts to get icky… hmmm…

    thanks for the inspiration!

  18. I love this recipe. But I’ve learned a trick to make it less sticky to work with: I heat the water and salt, stirring until all the salt dissolves. Then I add the oil and coloring to the pan. I measure the flour and cream of tartar, blending them well, and set aside, letting the liquid mixture cool a little. Then add the flour and cream of tarter to pan. Mix with a fork, switching to fingers when it is cool enough to knead.

  19. I stumbled across your blog while I was looking for a candy cane playdoh recipe. I *love* this recipe. It is so soft and easy to work with. I really dont want to buy playdoh ever again. Thanks so much for sharing.

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