A Simple All-Natural Homemade PlayDough Recipe

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Homemade PlayDough Recipe

This homemade playdough recipe is simple, natural, and perfect for entertaining children. They enjoy making it almost as much as they enjoy playing with it!

A Natural Homemade Playdough Recipe

My family members love to get my girls playdough for their birthdays and Christmas. It always makes my girls happy. I don’t mind it too much either. My kids get to use their hands to be creative in their play, which I consider a good thing.

The problem with store-bought playdough is, it’s expensive and it never seems to last long at our house. The bright pink mixes with the soft yellow. The blue and orange mesh into a mess. And before you know it, we’re stuck with seven cans of murky brown playdough.

As if the murky brownness wasn’t enough, my kids always drop a lot of it on the floor. By the time they’re finished playing and ready to put it away, half of it is dried out.

Inexpensive Playdough at Home

For these reasons, I don’t often buy it. Further, I don’t typically spend money on things that I know won’t last long. Sure, store-bought playdough comes with cool playsets and amazing colors, but I just can’t bring myself to buy it when I know that I can make an inexpensive playdough recipe at home.

A search for a homemade playdough recipe will yield several results. But many contain ingredients that I don’t typically have on hand, so I opt for the simplest possible recipe. What I use could probably even be considered a salt dough recipe, but with a little extra flour, it becomes soft enough to play with for hours. And it keeps for months in a zip-top bag or air-tight container.

Scroll down for a playdough recipe without salt.

Homemade PlayDough Recipe

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Homemade PlayDough Recipe

This homemade playdough recipe is simple, natural, and perfect for entertaining children. They enjoy making it almost as much as they enjoy playing with it!

Reasons to love this playdough recipe:

  • it's inexpensive
  • lasts for months when properly stored
  • you can customize your colors and other options
  • it has great texture
  • it's a fun project to keep your kids busy while still learning!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of flour (whatever kind you have on hand)
  • ¼ cup of salt
  • 1 Tbsp cream of tartar (optional)
  • ½ cup of warm water
  • 5 drops of natural food coloring (I use this brand)

Instructions

  1. Mix together the flour, salt, and cream of tartar.
  2. Mix together ½ cup of warm water with a few drops of food coloring.
  3. Slowly pour the water into the flour mixture, stirring as you pour. Stir until combined, then knead with your hands until the flour is completely absorbed. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour until it doesn’t stick at all.
  4. Repeat process for whichever colors you want to make.

Notes

Mixing the food coloring with the water before combining with the dry ingredients allows you to blend them by stirring, without staining your hands.

Homemade Playdough Recipe Video

Ideas for Using Your Homemade Playdough

If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll enjoy playing with the homemade playdough, but they’ll want a few toys to play with, too. I might not be able to come up with an intricate, all-plastic ice cream parlor or anything, but I can hand them some good old-fashioned kitchen utensils that make them just as happy. These are a few of the things I give my kids when playing with this playdough recipe:

  • Silverware
  • Rolling pins
  • Cookie cutters
  • Mason jar rings
  • Biscuit cutters

Want more ideas? Here are 75 more ideas for making this playdough recipe more fun.

Also, make clean up easier, we recommend using blue painter’s tape and parchment paper while playing. Simply tape down big squares of parchment paper to the playing surface and let the kids have fun!

Storing Your Homemade Playdough

Eventually, the homemade playdough will stop holding your kids’ interest. This means you’ll have to find something else to entertain them, like DIY jelly soap. You’ll also need to find a place to store your play dough. I recommend that you keep your DIY playdough in an airtight container. Use glassware with a lid, recycled plastic containers, old playdough containers, or even zip-top bags. As long as your play dough can sit tight without being left out, it should last for several months or more.

Glitter in Your DIY Playdough Recipe

You can also try adding some glitter (about 1 Tbsp to each color batch).

Homemade PlayDough Recipe

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Playdough Recipe Without Salt

If you're worried about your kids eating it, make this homemade playdough recipe without salt!

Ingredients

  • 1 cups of warm water
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup of non-GMO corn starch (I use this brand)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 drops of natural food coloring (I use this brand)

Instructions

  1. Mix together the flour, corn starch, oil, and lemon juice.
  2. Mix together the food coloring into 1 cup of warm water.
  3. Slowly pour the water into the flour mixture, stirring as you pour. Stir until combined, then knead with your hands until the flour is completely absorbed.
  4. Allow to cool and add more flour if the dough is too sticky.
  5. Repeat process for whichever colors you want to make.

Notes

You can use any vegetable oil, but we recommend coconut oil, or at least something non-GMO.

The next time you’re stuck inside for a rainy day, get your children to help you make this homemade playdough recipe! They’ll enjoy making it, but not as much as they’ll enjoy playing with it.

Other fun projects to try are our how to make soap and bath bomb recipe tutorials.

Homemade Playdough

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Sources

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Comments

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. I will make this for the Children’s Party in our church.

  2. This is awesome!! One of my biggest concerns about PlayDough, and the reason my son has yet to play with it, is because I don’t want him eating any. I think Play Dough is GREAT sensory play but, like you said, just not worth the money. This recipe will definitely be used around here! Thanks for sharing! <3

  3. i have a different recipe i just learned yesterday! its 2 cups of cornstarch and 1 cup hair conditioner! it makes a silky smooth play dough and it has a great smell! the first time i made it i used green apple conditioner and it came out green! it was so cool and my kids loved it 🙂

      • The problem with the hair conditioner is that children automatically have to taste the playdoh. They have to figure out that ‘s for playing and not eating. One of those things…

  4. I will give u a variation of the playdoh recipe I have from a cookbook that I’ve made many times and turns out silky and malleable. 1 cup flour,1/2 cup salt, 1 cup water with your choice of food coloring added, 2 tablespoons of oil, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar. Combine in a pan on the stove on medium heat until all ingredients combine

    • I have been making that kind of play dough as well. I think the large amount of salt keeps it from molding or fermenting. Cooking it gives it a good texture.

    • I am new to this site and loving it!! Thanks for all the great recipes! I have been making homemade play dough for my son’s preschool class, and the recipe I have is similar to the one Sally Little mentioned, just with bigger amounts of stuff. I really like the consistency that the oil gives it — it’s very malleable and smooth, and it seems to last a lot longer without hardening than the store bought kind.

    • That’s my recipe also. The cream of tartar (and no doubt the salt) cause it to keep indefinitely. (I found this out by accidentally leaving it out once!) Colors are brightest if you use the gel food coloring found with cake decorating supplies, and only a tiny bit is needed.