Homemade Play Dough Recipe

I decided we needed a little bit of sunshine today, a pick me up. So I took a few minutes to make some play dough for the kids. It only took me about ½ hour to make 5 batches.  I couldn’t decide on a color so we needed five.playdough

I was super happy with the brightness of colors. It just makes you feel happy. Neon food coloring is the best thing ever. (I don’t think the kids really cared what color it was, but I did.) It was the perfect remedy for playtime with the current slushy weather: rain and snow.

It never ceases to amaze me the magic behind a container of play dough. It provides hours of fun, no matter the age, even the teenager joined in. I personally enjoyed watching their little imaginations at work building spaceships, dragons, princesses, animals, towers, monsters, snowman, and lots and lots of snakes (if you’re 2). I even joined in the fun and played. I’m certain that mashing the dough and just rolling it in your hands as an adult can be very stress relieving.  I love the squishiness and smoothness of the dough, and the memories made at a table full of children that never grow up when there is play dough. It’s like a little bit of childhood magic, two hours of no fighting, and just creating. It was a wonderful afternoon.

I’ve included the recipe for our play dough at the bottom. A super soft dough that will last six months or more in an airtight container (at our house that’s a zip lock bag). 

child5child child4 child2  childchildchild3kidsdolls



Play Dough

1 cup flour

1 cup water

1 tbsp. oil

2 tsp Cream of tartar

1/2 cup salt

food coloring

Put all of your ingredients into a sauce pan. Add food coloring according to your liking.  Stir everything together until most of the flour lumps are gone. Place pan on stove and cook on medium high heat while stirring constantly. The dough will begin to form a ball and pull away from the side of the pan. Keep turning the ball around in the pan while all the sides pull away and the ball no longer looks sticky, just soft like play dough. It only takes about 60 seconds to cook into the ball.  It’s super fast so don’t stop stirring. Dump out on counter top and knead about 10 times (you will want it to cool a few seconds before you knead it). Store in an air tight container and dough will last a very long time.


Do not overcook or the salt will crystallize and you’ll have a soft dough with crunch salt through it.

Do not plan to knead the food coloring in the dough after cooking. It doesn’t mix in well and creates a pretty big mess.

This dough doesn’t dry out or cook up for jewelry, ornaments, or figurines. I’ll share another recipe later that does all that.

I often double batch it, but of course I have a large family.

It makes really cute gifts when packaged up.

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