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Homemade play dough is so incredibly easy and fun to make. It involves just a few ingredients and can last for a few months, when stored properly.

We all know kids love to play with play dough. Heck, even I love to sit down and make things every now and then. I think it’s the kid in all of us.

But, play doh can dry out so easily and kids love to mix the colors together. Oftentimes, rendering the dough useless. And replacing the play doh all of the time can get expensive.

Not to mention, making homemade play dough has a host of benefits. It exposes children to literacy, math and overall life skills. It’s also great for fine motor skills! As the children work on pouring, mixing, kneading, etc.

While I can’t say for certain that making our own play dough will take over ever purchasing it again. What I can say is that it is fun, it’s a great way to spend quality time together and perfect for making long-lasting memories.

So, if that sounds like something you’re up for, let’s go ahead and dive into how to make it.

Homemade Play Dough Pin Image

Before I dive into the recipe, I do want to mention that creating this recipe does require adult supervision. Both while making the play dough and while playing. This homemade play dough recipe is not made for consumption and should not be eaten or consumed.

If you are looking for the recipe to this homemade play dough, you can locate it at the bottom of this post 😊.

To make this homemade play dough, you will need the following ingredients and items:

Ingredients

Measuring, Mixing & Making

  • 1 cup – dry ingredient measuring cup
  • 1 cup – liquid measuring cup
  • 1 tsp – dry measuring
  • 1 tbs – liquid or dry measuring
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Pot to cook in

Storage

Unfortunately, I did not get pictures of the process when we made this play dough. However we loved making this so much that I know we will be doing it again soon. So, I will update this post the next time we recreate this recipe.

Instructions to Make Homemade Play Dough

Step 1: Add flour, salt and cream of tartar to mixing bowl. Mix together. Note: I felt that the amount of salt I used for this recipe may have been a little much. It felt just a tad bit grainy. I plan to try it with slightly less next time. Say maybe 3/4 cup.

Step 2: Add warm water and oil to the dry mixture. You will want to make sure you are using warm water for this recipe. It’s not necessary for it to be boiling hot and lukewarm water from the sink worked perfectly well for us.

Step 3: Mix the ingredients together. We used a simple mixing spoon for this step, but I imagine a whisk would work well, also. We mixed until it resembled that of pancake mix. Or until there was no more flour or huge chunks of mixture.

Step 4: Add ingredients to cooking pot; we cooked on medium heat and stirred constantly (but also not too much). This step happens pretty quickly so you’ll want to keep an eye on it. It should be ready in 2-3 minutes.

Step 5: Lay down a sprinkle of flour on your table or countertop. This helps keep the dough from sticking.

After dough has cooled slightly, remove from pot, place on flour and begin kneading (folding the dough over and over again). Knead until dough is smooth.

Step 6: Add food coloring. Start with a few dots and add more, as you feel fit. You can wear gloves to help prevent food color from getting on your hands.

Alternatively, I have seen others that place the dough and food coloring in baggies and mix that way. We did try this way for a few colors and it’s a great way to include the littles in the mixing process.

If you give this recipe a go, let me know how it turns out for you 😊. I hope that you enjoy making it as much as we did!


Homemade Play Dough

How to make the easiest homemade play dough.
Prep Time5 mins
Active Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins

Equipment

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Mixing Spoon
  • Liquid Measuring Cup
  • Measuring Tablespoon
  • Measuring Teaspoon
  • Cooking Pot
  • Gloves or Baggie for adding food color

Materials

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 cup Salt
  • 2 cups Warm Water
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil (can also use coconut oil)
  • 2 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • Food Coloring (of your choice) This recipe used gel food coloring

Instructions

  • Add salt, flour and cream of tartar in mixing bowl. Mix together
  • Add oil and warm water to mixing bowl and mix together.
  • Place mixture in cooking pot and cook on stovetop. Cook until dough-like mixture has formed. (This took 5 minutes or less on our stovetop.)
  • Let dough cool enough that it can be handled with hands.
  • Place flour on table, remove dough from pot and knead together.
  • Separate dough into desired portions – for food coloring.
  • Once dough has been kneaded. Add food coloring and continue to mix together until desired color is reached. Alternatively, you can place the dough in a baggie, add food coloring and mix that way.
  • For storage, wrap each color in separate saran wrap and store in a 1 gallon bag in the refrigerator.

Notes

This homemade play dough recipe is not to be eaten or consumed. Do not leave children unattended while making or playing with the play dough. 
To keep food coloring from getting on your hands, you may choose to wear gloves for mixing the colors. 
This recipe yields quite a bit of play dough. About double from what you see in the image provided. If you choose to make less dough, you may choose to half the recipe.