How To Make Playdough

Homemade playdough is a fantastic alternative to the store-bought stuff. Once you know how to make playdough you’ll never go back to buying. But, finding the right recipe can be a bit of a challenge. So, I’ve collected together a selection of different recipes. They have various ingredients, so no matter how last-minute your decision was to make playdough, there should be a recipe here that will work for you.

Best Long-Lasting Playdough

This playdough is fantastic if you want to be able to pull it out again over a couple of months. It’s soft, pliable, and lasts really well if you store it in ziplock bags.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup of salt
  • 4 teaspoons of cream of tartar
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of oil (vegetable, corn, olive, and coconut all work well) 

Optional – food coloring

Equipment

  • Ziplock Bags (one for each color of playdough you want to make)
  • Large Pan
  • Large Wooden/Silicone Spoon

Method

Step 1

Put all the dry ingredients into your pan. And give them a good stir together.

Step 2

Add the wet ingredients to the pan and mix well.

Step 3

Cook over a medium heat while stirring constantly. Heat until the mix begins to thicken and starts to form a ball. Then remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Step 4 

Once the dough is cool enough to touch, knead it until it feels smooth. It’s then ready to play with. When the kids are done playing, you can store this playdough in a ziplock bag to be reused. It should last around 3 months. 

Optional Steps 

If you want to color your play dough, you have two options. To dye the whole batch, you can add the food coloring at the same time as you add the wet ingredients.

To make more than one color, you can add the food coloring when you knead the dough. If you’re doing this, it’s a good idea to knead the dough inside a ziplock bag. This keeps the food coloring contained and saves on a lot of handwashing!

Best No-Cook Playdough

If you want a quick and easy recipe, then this is a good option. You don’t need to cook it on the hob. You just add boiling water and stir.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
  • 1.5 cups of boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons of oil (vegetable, corn, olive, and coconut all work well) 

Optional – food coloring and a few drops of glycerine

Equipment

  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Large Wooden/Silicone Spoon

Method

Step 1

Put the flour salt, cream of tartar, and oil into your mixing bowl.

Step 2

Add the boiling water and stir until combined into a dough, then allow to cool.

Step 3

Once the dough is cool enough to touch, knead it until it no longer feels sticky. If it continues to feel sticky no matter how much you knead, then you can add a little more flour.

Optional Steps 

If you want to color your playdough you just add the food coloring to the boiling water. 

If you have glycerine, it makes the dough extra smooth and shiny. You add this in just before you knead the dough.

Best Playdough Without Cream Of Tartar

Cream of tartar is not an ingredient that everyone has in their cupboards. It’s also not the cheapest thing in the world, either. So here’s a great play dough recipe that doesn’t need it at all.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 3/4 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of oil (vegetable, corn, olive, and coconut all work well) 

Optional – food coloring and a packet of Kool-Aid

Equipment

  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Large Wooden/Silicone Spoon

Method

Step 1

Add the lemon juice to the water and bring to a boil. You can do this in a pan or a microwave-safe bowl. It doesn’t matter which. 

Step 2 

Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. 

Step 3

Once the water and lemon are boiling, slowly add it to the dry ingredients. Stir constantly as you add the liquid. Stir until the mix just begins to form a dough

Step 4

Add the oil and stir until it begins to form a ball. Then knead until the dough is cool.

Step 5

If the dough is still sticky once it has cooled, you can add extra flour to get your desired consistency.

Optional Steps 

If you want to color the dough, you can add food coloring to the lemon and water mix once it’s heated up.

If you want to give your dough a fragrance, you can add Kool-Aid to the hot lemon and water. Just make sure to do it slowly as it will fizz up as soon as you add the Kool-Aid. This is an easy way to make lovely scented playdough without using essential oils.

3 Ingredient Playdough

If you’re short on flour and salt, this is another option for making pretty good playdough.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of cornstarch
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 3/4 cups of water

Optional – food coloring and essential oils

Equipment

  • Large Pan
  • Large Wooden/Silicone Spoon

Method

Step 1

Combine all the ingredients in a cold pan until well mixed

Step 2 

Stir continuously while heating the pan with a medium heat. Continue to heat until the mix begins to bubble. It will then quickly start to thicken and form a ball. Once this happens, take it off the heat.

Step 3

Allow the dough to cool.

Optional Steps 

Once the dough has cooled, you can knead in some food coloring and/or essential oils. This will give it a lovely smell and color. Do be aware that some essential oils aren’t food safe.

2 Ingredient Playdough (Not Edible)

Our final recipe makes some really soft playdough. However, this is an inedible playdough, so this is not the best option if your kids are still putting everything in their mouths.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of hair conditioner
  • 1 cup of corn starch

Optional – food coloring

Equipment

  • Large Mixing bowl
  • Spoon

Method

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl until they form a dough. It’s as simple as that. The only thing to note is that the hair conditioner is pretty varied. So you might need to add a little more cornstarch to get the right consistency.

Optional Steps 

If you want some color, just throw in a few drops of food coloring at the start. This recipe really is just that easy.

Conclusion

My kids love playing with playdough, and I hope yours will get hours of fun out of these recipes too. Since there are a few to choose from all in one place, you won’t have to go hunting for recipes anymore! Let us know how you get on and which worked best for you.

Share on pinterest
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on print