Easy Way to Make Homemade Play Dough

stacks of homemade play dough
Category: Create
Published Date: 09/15/2020
Comments: 39

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If your kids love to create, play with play dough or even slime, they are going to love this homemade play dough! It’s super easy to make and you probably have the ingredients in your kitchen right now! 

I’ve always been a fan of the possibilities of play dough. But I worry about the ingredients of store-bought things lately. While the Play Dough you buy in the store says it’s primarily made of a mixture of water, flour and salt, there are definitely some other ingredients in their proprietary recipe that we don’t know about.  The idea of knowing exactly what my kids are playing with sounds a lot better to me, plus it’s cheaper to make your own and a LOT of fun!

flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a bowl
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mixture of flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a bowl
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boiling water and purple food coloring in a measuring cup
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variety of color mixtures
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Did you know you could make homemade play dough with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen?
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A Few Tips:

Make sure that you are using iodized salt (that’s table salt) and not a more coarse salt like kosher salt. It will make a difference.

I use all-purpose flour, though I’m not 100% sure that it wouldn’t work with any other type of flour as I haven’t tried that yet. If you do, please comment and let me know!

You don’t have to use food coloring if you don’t mind your kids playing with a beige, neutral color homemade play dough. If you do use food coloring, I’ve found that food coloring gel works really well! Depending on how bright you want the color to be, you can adjust the number of drops. We stopped at 8 since it seemed to work pretty well for the color we were looking for. Though for the lighter colors (like yellow), you may want to add a few extra drops in.

Make sure the water is boiling. It will make a difference! Adding the color into the boiling water does decrease the chances of you or your little one getting the dye on your hands. 

The one ingredient you might not have in your kitchen is cream of tartar. You may even be wondering what it’s used for. Cream of Tartar is actually potassium hydrogen tartrate, a byproduct of winemaking. It’s a powder form of an acidic substance similar to lemon or vinegar and is used as a way to bind other products together. 

ball of homemade play dough
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homemade play dough balls
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stacks of homemade play dough
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Looking for a fun activity for the kids? Why not make homemade play dough? It's fun and easy!
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While everyone in our house loves it, there was a little debate going on in our house about this homemade play dough and whether we could call it play dough. My youngest thinks it feels exactly like play dough. My middle daughter called it more of a butter slime. There was also mention of a mixture of cloud slime and play dough. No matter what you call it, I can tell you that it’s fun to make and keeps the kids entertained whether they are squishing it or creating something with it.

My kids had the BEST time making this homemade play dough. And of course, my 11 year old begged me to allow her to create a video of her playing with the newly made homemade play dough. It was somewhere around 7 minutes long and while I could personally watch it because I find it relaxing, I edited it down to under a minute for you.

variety of colors of homemade play dough
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colorful dough you can make at home
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Now, I’m excited to share the recipe for our easy homemade play dough with you. If you do make it, I’d love for you to share a photo and tag us on social media or comment below and let me know what you and your kids think. We love feedback from our readers!

Don’t forget to check out our other family fun craft ideas.

Homemade Play Dough

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stacks of homemade play dough
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Homemade Play Dough

  • Author: Heather l The Super Mom Life


An easy way make homemade play dough using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.




  • In a medium bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil.
  • Boil water and move to a small bowl or measuring cup.
  • Add food coloring and essential oils and stir until mixed well.
  • Add the colored water to the dry mixture and mix with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until combined.
  • Take a bit of the remaining flour and coat your hands. The rest should go into the dough mixture.
  • Mix with your hands, kneading until the dough is soft and not sticky.
  • Refrigerate when not using your play dough. It should last 1-2 weeks.

The kids will love this homemade play dough recipe! It's easy to make and super fun to play with!
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*This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on any of them and make a purchase, our family may receive a small commission. As always, we appreciate your support!

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Hello There!

I'm so honored that you've found us! I'm Heather, a Mom of 3 who blogs about parenting, food, occasional travel and how I overcame my daily struggle with anxiety. I miss sleeping and rely on coffee and laughter to get me through the day. I hope you enjoy and visit often!

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Recipe rating

  1. My kids are out of the play dough stage, though I think I am forever in it – LOL! But I never knew what Cream of Tartar is, so thanks. That’s very cool.

  2. Oh wow, this would be so much fun to make with the neighborhood kids. They always want to come over but it’s hard to keep them entertained when they do. I’m going to save this recipe.

  3. Nice! The coloring makes it more fulfilled and engaging for the kids. Using this dough to keep them engaged this weekend

  4. OMG how much fun. I didn’t know you could make play dough at home. Loving the bright colors too.

  5. I’m definitely trying this with my two kids because they love play-dough. I’m sure they’ll have a blast.

  6. I didn’t know that play dough can be made at home. The colors are so great!

  7. Though it looks a little stiffer than store-bought, I would prefer this so I won’t worry if kids would accidentally eat it.

  8. I will share this “recipe” with my cousins. Such an inexpensive way to make play dough! This is good for sensory learning for the young ones and I also love the bright colors you can make yourself.

  9. So impressed with how easy it is to make your own and I love that it’s all natural too! The kids used to love play dough when they were little…such great memories!

  10. Homemade play dough was a staple in our house for many years! I may have to continue the tradition with my grandchildren.

  11. I just made this for my grandson yesterday. I saw a similar recipe online and tried it. I am happy that we can make play dough at home. It is a whole lot cheaper too than buying the ones at the store.

  12. They’re so pretty! First time seeing cream of tartar used in making playdough and love how smooth and velvety they turned out, so we’ll try this out.

  13. My niece would love this homemade play dough! She likes to build and create different mini sculptures. She can definitely use this so much!

  14. This is one of my toddler’s favorite Sensory Play. Thank you for this recipe, will use it as guide when we do our own play dough at home.

  15. This looks absolutely cool and brought back lots of fun memories as I used to make playdough when my kids were younger. Just sent your link to my bestie too who has a 3 year old

  16. I love how easy homemade play-doh is to make. We used to make it all the time when my gang was smaller.

  17. I love that I have all the ingredients in my kitchen! It sounds so easy to make and my son will love it for sure!

  18. I remember making play dough for my kids when they were small. It’s easy enough to do and I liked knowing what the ingredients were.

  19. This is such an easy way to make homemade play dough! I love trying to make new things to have fun with and these colorful balls of playdough are certainly something I want to make with our youngest this next week.

  20. Such a helpful recipe my kids loves playing a playdough most of the time and I am sure they will be happy to know on how to make their own playdough at home. Thank you!

  21. There are so many ways to use play dough. The kids love it. Never tried making it ourselves.

  22. This is awesome. I’ve always heard that it is easy to make but have never tried to make it myself. Thanks for the recipe and tutorial, my son will love this.

  23. My kids LOVE playing with play dough, even as teens. The great thing about them being older is they can make it themselves now.

  24. This is awesome! My kids are older but they’d still have fun with this. We’ll have to make it.

  25. This is an excellent DIY playdough recipe. My daughter is still very much into this. She’ll go nuts when I tell her we will make some ourselves! Thank you for sharing!

  26. Ooh I really didn’t know that it was possible to make your own Play Doh! Thanks for the recipe! Will have to try it out.

  27. I love this so much. When my son was little he ALWAYS left the play dough cap open, which meant I had to keep buying it. This would have been so much better.

  28. This is so great! My kids used to use play dough all the time when they were little. I wish I’d had a recipe like this back then.

  29. That is super easy to make homemade playdough! No need to buy it anymore. Such a fun activity to do with the kids.