The Best Homemade Play Dough EVER

The one play homemade play dough that I always keep coming back to. This is the recipe Iíve been making for my kids for a full decade now.

I have made a LOT of homemade play dough.

Iíve made cornstarch dough, cinnamon dough, modeling beeswax, edible play dough, and probably everything else thatís ever popped up on Pinterest.

The one homemade play dough that I always keep coming back to, however, is the same recipe that Iíve been making for my kids for a full decade now:†my classic play dough recipe.

This recipe is made in minutes. It can be made by kids, or by you while youíre doing twelve other things with a kid on your hip and another clinging to your legsĖbelieve me, I know. It can be dyed with food coloring, liquid watercolors, or Kool-aid, and you can even mix in essential oils or spices or glitter. It makes a great last-minute birthday party gift, even for a ten-year-old. Believe me, I know!

Everyone likes it. Everyone plays with it. Itís easy to make.

Here it is:

Mix together the following ingredients:

1. 1 cup bleached white flour.†You may choose organic as the most eco-friendly option, but Iíll be honest here; I use conventional, the cheapest that I can find. Itís still got a lot less junk in it than any commercial play dough that you can buy.

2. 1/2 cup salt.†Again, use regular old salt for thisĖnot the fancy large-grained stuff. Itís the salt that gives this dough its beautiful texture.

3. 2 teaspoons cream of tartar.†

4. 1 cup water.

5. 1 tablespoon oil.

Mix the ingredients in a small pot on the stove, heating it slowly on Medium-Low as you stir.

Homemade Play Dough

Hereís how your play dough should progress on the stove.

This batch was balled up and no longer gluey at eight minutes, so I removed it from the heat and plopped it onto the countertop to cool.

Once the play dough is a comfortable temperature, knead†in a dye of your choice.†Workable ingredients include both conventional and natural food colorings, Kool-aid packets, and powdered tempera. Powdered tempera is my ingredient of choice, as I think it makes the colors the most vivid, and it makes the play dough feel impossibly light to the touch.

Here, for instance, is the dough that I just dyed red, next to the dough that Iím about to dye orange:

The Best Homemade Play Dough EVER

Isnít the color so vivid?

This play dough will keep in an air-tight container in the refrigerator forÖ well, for just about forever. I throw my batches out after a couple of months on sheer principle.

You also do not have to buy those miniature plastic tools just for the kids to have a fab time with their play dough. Instead, just look around your kitchen! Kids enjoy working with butter knives and spoons and forks, cookie cutters, cheese graters and garlic presses, rolling pins, their own dishes and cups, drinking straws, and toothpicks. Give them some glitter from the crafts bin, allow them to bring out their little toys, and theyíll be as happy as pigs in mud.

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53 comments

Jetana A
Jetana A1 years ago

I wish I had seen your article when my daughter was little. Before the Internet, and I couldn't figure out a good dough. I'll send a clip from here to her on behalf of my grandkids, thanks.

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Sherry K
Sherry Kohn1 years ago

Many thanks to you !

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Angela B.
Angela B3 years ago

Thanks for the recipe!! I like to use Kool-Aid as the dye because it makes for some wonderful smelling play dough ;)

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Dt Nc
Dt Nc3 years ago

Thanks for the recipe.

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Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen3 years ago

Thank you

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Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen3 years ago

Thank you

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dagmar karin dag
dagmar karin dag3 years ago

A mis nietas les va a encantar

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Tanya W.
Tanya W3 years ago

Bookmarked. Looks like fun...

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Tanya W.
Tanya W3 years ago

Never had occasion to make play dough...

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