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Easy Homemade Play Dough Recipe For Kids

Around here, we love play sensory activities for kids! 

Recently the kids wanted to play with playdough but we didn’t have any on hand so we decided to make some using our easy homemade play dough recipe. 

It’s simple, cheap and only take a few minutes to make.

And what’s even more surprising is it’s even silkier and smoother than the stuff you buy in the stores! That’s what I can a win-win! 

Read on below or watch our video to learn how to make play dough at home. 

Play Dough Recipe With Cream Of Tartar

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar 
  • Food coloring (optional)

How To Make Play Dough

  1. Add the flour, salt and cream of tartar to a large mixing bowl.  Whisk to combine.
  2. Add the oil and water to a saucepan over medium heat.  Slowly whisk in the flour mixture. Stir constantly until a stiff ball of dough forms. Remove from heat and allow the dough to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. If you want to color the play dough, divide into equal parts and press out with your hand to create a thick pancake shape.
  4. Add 3-4 drops of your choice of food coloring to each pile of dough. Fold the dough over to cover the drops and place in a plastic bag and seal.
  5. Knead the bag with your hands for about 3 minutes or until the food coloring is evenly distributed throughout the play dough.

That’s really as simple as it is! 

This play dough recipe is a simple and easy way to keep the kids entertained over and over again. Use it to help kids work on fine motor skills, increase creativity and just have fun. 

Play Dough FAQs

If you have a question related to homemade play dough chances are, we’ve answered them below. Browse through to find all the answers you need about DIY playdough! 

Homemade play dough

Can you eat homemade play dough? 

While you technically can eat the play dough you make from this recipe, it is not recommended. All the ingredients are edible, but due to the high salt content, it won’t taste good or sit well if ingested. Also keep in mind that allowing your young child to eat this play dough may cause them to think they are able to eat all play dough. The Play Doh brand dough is not intended for eating so if you plan on using that as well, we recommend you tell your children this homemade play dough is not to be eaten. 

Is this play dough gluten free?

No, this play dough is not gluten free. It uses all-purpose flour which contains gluten so if you’re child is allergic or sensitive to gluten, do not use this recipe. 

Will this play dough dry out?

Yes. If you don’t keep this play dough sealed in an air tight container, it will dry out. 

How long does homemade play dough last?

The salt and cream of tartar act as preservatives in this recipe so this play dough recipe lasts for quite a while. In our experience, the dough lasts 3-6 months when stored properly. 

How should I store the play dough?

We recommend you store play dough in a sealed container like tupperware or even a ziplock baggie. You do not need to refrigerate this dough. 

Can you freeze play dough? 

Yes, you can freeze this recipe. If you freeze it, it should last longer than the suggested time frame above. Keep in mind you will need to thaw the dough out before you play with it. The length of time this takes will depend on a variety of factors such as how much dough you made and what temperature your home is. 

How do I soften my play dough?

If you accidentally left your play dough out too long and it’s become hardened you may be able to get it back to its original softness. Try adding water, a few drops at a time, to the dried out playdough. Mix thoroughly and let rehydrate. 

Share With Us

Did you make this homemade play dough for your kids? We’d love for you to take a picture of your kids playing with their dough and post it to our Facebook wall! 

More Sensory Activities For Kids

Play Dough Accessories 

Easy Homemade Play Dough Recipe

Easy Homemade Play Dough Recipe

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Learn how easy it is to make this homemade play dough with our silky soft recipe!

Materials

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • Food coloring (optional)

Tools

  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Medium pan

Instructions

    1. Add the flour, salt and cream of tartar to a large mixing bowl.  Whisk to combine.
    2. Add the oil and water to a saucepan over medium heat.  Slowly whisk in the flour mixture. Stir constantly until a stiff ball of dough forms. Remove from heat and allow the dough to cool for 5 minutes.
    3. If you want to color the play dough, divide into equal parts and press out with your hand to create a thick pancake shape.
    4. Add 3-4 drops of your choice of food coloring to each pile of dough. Fold the dough over to cover the drops and place in a plastic bag and seal.
    5. Knead the bag with your hands for about 3 minutes or until the food coloring is evenly distributed throughout the play dough.

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