The Best Homemade Playdough Recipe

Keep your kids busy and happy for hours with this easy homemade playdough recipe. This playdough has the best texture and lasts a long time!

Hand playing with The Best Homemade Playdough Recipe

Homemade Playdough Recipe

This homemade playdough recipe is my favorite of all time. I have been making this recipe for at least 20 years, going way back to when I was babysitting as a teenager. This playdough has a great texture. It is soft without being sticky and it holds it shape for molds and cookie cutters.

Play dough is also fun and a great boredom buster for a day that you are stuck inside. I love that it doesn’t require batteries and there are no screens needed. And it is much easier to clean up than glitter. 🙂

Playdough as a Learning Tool

Play dough is actually a great learning tool for your kids! They will be having so much fun playing with the play dough that they won’t even notice that they are developing some important skills, which makes it even more awesome.

Playing with play dough helps develop small muscle control, hand-eye coordination and strengthens the muscles in your child’s fingers, hands and wrists, which is important for helping them learn how to write and use scissors. Play dough also helps develop creativity, imagination and problem solving (just to name a few).

Favorite Playdough Accessories:

Click on the photo to go to the Amazon link to buy one of these fun kits for hours of play.

How to Store and How Long This Homemade Playdough Will Last:

This playdough recipe truly is amazing because it has a long shelf life as long as it is properly put away after each use. We easily get 3-6 months out of it depending on how much we play with it.

I like to keep my playdough in ziplock bags for maximum freshness. It will harden if the bag is left open and unfortunately there’s no going back from that.

How Do You Make Homemade Playdough?

In a large pan, add all the ingredients and mix together until combined. Add more food coloring, if desired. 

Over medium heat cook dough, stirring with a wooden spoon until it starts to gather around the spoon, about 1-2 minutes. (The dough will be lumpy as it starts to cook, but that is normal)

Continue stirring for an additional 1-2 minutes. Once the dough is no longer sticky and has formed into a large ball remove from heat and the pan.

Take dough out of the pan and place on counter. Allow the dough to cool until it can be handled and then knead any of the lumps out.

Option: You can wait and add food coloring at this point so you can divide the dough and make more colors. It is messier that way, but it is an option.

What does Cream of Tartar Do for Playdough?

Our recipe for Homemade Playdough does contain cream of tartar. That’s the same ingredient you can find in Snickerdoodles. It’s sold in the baking isle at your grocery store.

In this homemade playdough recipe, the cream of tartar acts as a preservative.

Can You Make Playdough Without Cream of Tartar?

Yes you can! Not to worry if you don’t have cream of tartar on hand. We can adjust this recipe with lemon juice to make up for that.

  • Instead of 1 cup of water, use 3/4 cup of water minus 3 Tbsps.
  • Instead of the cream of tartar, use 3 Tbsp of lemon juice.
  • Change the 1/2 cup of salt, to only 1/4 cup of salt.
  • Everything else on the recipe stays the same.

How Do You Make Homemade Playdough Without Cooking?

If you don’t want to cook this homemade playdough recipe, there is a microwavable option:

  1. Measure the water (and lemon juice if making this without cream of tartar) into a heatproof, microwavable 2-cup measuring cup. Heat in the microwave until just boiling, about three minutes.
  2. Mix together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the food coloring to the HOT water (and lemon juice).
  3. Slowly pour the liquid into the flour and salt mixture, and stir with a wooden paddle until it just barely begins to form a dough.
  4. Drizzle the tablespoon of cooking oil over the dough and stir again until it forms a ball.
  5. At this point, place ball of dough on your counter and knead with your hands. It will be warm and sticky, but DO NOT add more flour. As the dough cools it will thicken and become less sticky.
  6. Let the dough cool. If it’s too sticky for your preference, you can always add more flour one Tbsp at a time. It does come out softer than the commercial Play-doh you buy at the stores.

Here is the Homemade Playdough Recipe:

The Best Homemade Playdough Recipe

Keep your kids busy and happy for hours with this easy homemade playdough recipe. This playdough has the best texture and lasts a long time!
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time4 mins
Course: Craft
Cuisine: Kids
Keyword: Homemade playdough recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tarter
  • 5-8 drops food coloring Add as much as you want for the right color

Instructions

  • In a large pan, add all the ingredients and mix together until combined. Add more food coloring, if desired. 
  • Over medium heat cook dough, stirring with a wooden spoon until it starts to gather around the spoon, about 1-2 minutes. (The dough will be lumpy as it starts to cook, but that is normal)
  • Continue stirring for an additional 1-2 minutes. Once the dough is no longer sticky and has formed into a large ball remove from the heat and pan.
  • Take dough out of the pan and place on counter. Allow the dough to cool until it can be handled and then knead any of the lumps out.
  • You can wait and add food coloring at this point so you can divide the dough and make more colors. It is messier that way, but it is an option.

Notes

Substitute for no Cream of Tartar:
  • Instead of 1 cup of water, use 3/4 cup of water minus 3 Tbsps.
  • Instead of the cream of tartar, use 3 Tbsp of lemon juice.
  • Change the 1/2 cup of salt, to only 1/4 cup of salt.
  • Everything else on the recipe stays the same.
Tried this recipe?Mention @mymommystyle or tag #mymommystyle!


Here are Some Fun Activities to do with your Homemade Playdough:

You don’t need to buy expensive play dough tools from the store this is a list of 23 awesome play dough tools you already have in your home. These will make your play dough time even more fun.

Free printable alphabet play dough mats to help your kids learn the letters. They are easy to download and print from home and then throw them in a sheet protector for some fun learning.

These shapes play dough mats are similar to the alphabet mats, but with shapes.

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Camille
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