A Simple All-Natural Homemade PlayDough Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links.

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 Play-Doh® 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, and I always consider that a good thing.

There’s a problem with Play-Doh® though, and that problem is that it never lasts long at our house. The bright pink mixes with the soft yellow and the blue and orange mesh into a mess, and before I’ve even realized what’s happening, we are stuck with seven cans of murky brown Play-Doh®.

And as if the murky brownness isn’t enough, my kids have a tendency to drop significant percentages of it on the floor. By the time they’re finished playing and ready to put their Play-Doh® away, half of it is dried out and has to be swept up.

For that reason, I don’t often buy it. It’s good fun, yes, but I don’t typically spend money on things that I know won’t last long. Sure, store-bought play dough 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.

Homemade PlayDough Recipe

1 vote


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!


  • 1 cup of flour (whatever kind you have on hand)
  • ¼ cup of salt
  • ½ cup of water
  • 3 to 5 drops of natural food coloring (I use this brand)


  1. Mix together the flour and the salt.
  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.

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 to use with their playdough:

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

Eventually, the homemade playdough will stop holding your kids’ interest. This means you’ll have to find something else to entertain them and a place to store your play dough. I can’t really help with the first part of that, but I can recommend that you keep your play dough in an airtight container. Use glassware with a lid, recycled plastic containers, or even old Play-Doh® containers. As long as your play dough can sit tight without being left out, it should last for several months or more.

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.


PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for us to support our website activities, we may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this website.

DISCLAIMER: Information on DIY Natural™ is not reviewed or endorsed by the FDA and is NOT intended to be substituted for the advice of your health care professional. If you rely solely upon this advice you do so at your own risk. Read full Disclaimer & Disclosure statements here.


  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.