Make Your Own Playdough

We love our playdough recipe! We love it so much that when I tell Ada no to playdough she tells me we should make it. I don’t know which she prefers more.. playing with it or making it together. We love it so much that I stopped buying the small assorted food dyes from McCormick and I bought their large bottles of blue, red, and yellow through Amazon. You can find a variety of McCormick food dyes on Amazon through this link, but any water-based dye should work.

Make our go to playdough recipe and never buy it again. It's so simple, soft, customization, and so much fun to play with.

The full written recipe is at the bottom of the post.

Mixing all the dry ingredients together.

Mixing all the dry ingredients together.

Don't be afraid to get dirty.

Don’t be afraid to get dirty.

All mixed up.

All mixed up.

You can keep it plain and color it with markers or add your dye. You could've also added the dye with the water.

You can keep it plain and color it with markers or add your dye. You could’ve also added the dye with the water.

You can add a scent with flavor extracts.

You can add a scent with flavor extracts.

Break up the dye before getting your hands in the playdough.

Break up the dye before getting your hands in the playdough.

You can always add more dye if it isn't dark enough.

You can always add more dye if it isn’t dark enough.

Gloves might be smart if you don't want to dye your hands.

Gloves might be smart if you don’t want to dye your hands.

Playing with their playdough together.

Playing with their playdough together.

White playdough is always fun to hand color with your markers. It makes interesting colors over time too.

White playdough is always fun to hand color with your markers. It makes interesting colors over time too.

Playdough

This has become our only playdough recipe. We haven't had it go bad on us as my daughter always mixes the colors and we end up throwing it out to make new colors before it has a chance. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have.

I frequently have my toddler add my dry ingredients as I measure and stir it all together. Once the water comes to a boil I get to do the final stir, add the hot water, and then mix it all together (as it's too hot). If I separate the dough into bowl to make separate colors I always break up the dye, mix it until it cools, and then depending on if I have help either knead it on the counter or pass it to Ada to mix while I go onto the next color. 

Course Miscellaneous, Sensory Activity
Cuisine Miscellaneous
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1.5 cups boiling water (up to)
  • food dye - water based (not gel colors) (optional)
  • flavor extracts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mix the first four ingredients in a large bowl (flour, salt, cream of tartar, and vegetable oil).
  2. Add boiling water to the bowl. If you're afraid of it being too wet add a bit less. You can always add more later.

  3. Once it gets harder to stir I dump it out and once cool enough knead it. If it's really sticky you can always flour the surface first so it doesn't stick too badly.

  4. If too sticky and wet add more flour.

  5. If too dry add a bit more water.
  6. See the notes below for a variety of options on when to add the food dye and/or flavor extracts for scents. 

Recipe Notes

Color Options

  1. Keep colorless. I've also kept it white on purpose and had my toddler color it with felt pens. She jabs it mostly but older kids, and parents, can create masterpieces with the playdough and then color them. We've enjoyed coloring butterflies. I can also see making a flat circle and coloring the pizza toppings. When you ball the playdough up when you're done it looks really cool marbled and each time you see different color variations.
  2. One color. If you only want one color you can add the dye to the boiling water while it's still in the measuring cup or jug before adding. You can also add the water to the dry ingredients and then drip the dye in before mixing. 
  3. Multiple colors. If you want multiple colors you can mix and knead the dough and when it's smooth divide it into either bowls (based on how many colors you want) or on the counter if you aren't worried about the dye. I then poke a divot, drop some dye in, and stir it up. I normally use a spoon to break up the dye and then dump it on the counter and knead in the color.

Flavor Extracts

You can add them at the same point as the dye in step two and three above. If you want multiple colors and one scent you can add the extract with the water (step 2), mix the dough, separate, and add the dye (step 3). If you want multiple colors with each their own scent you can do it at the same time as the dye (step 3). 

I’d love to hear what you made with your playdough. Feel free to post in the comments below, on my Facebook page, or through Instagram.

Kyra

My name is Kyra and I’m a computer programmer that decided to stay at home with my two beautiful daughters: Ada and Zoey. I created this website to share with you anything I come across in my day to day life that I think you may enjoy.

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8 Responses

  1. April 21, 2018

    […] you may want to look into the paint you’re using to color your playdough before making it. My main recipe uses food dye so then I’m not too […]

  2. August 8, 2018

    […] Used the recipe from my earlier “Make Your Own Playdough” post. Between the older and newer batches I ended up with a total of five batches of playdough for the birthday party. If you have all the ingredients except for the food dye to color the playdough and you’re not worried about anyone sampling the playdough you could use kids paint to dye the playdough instead. I experimented with this in my “Playdough Coloring Alternatives” post. […]

  3. January 30, 2019

    […] running out or always going through the same colors in the smaller four-pack. I used this in my previous playdough creation post too. I found the vinegar was cheapest if I bought the larger two-pack from Costco but I […]

  4. May 22, 2019

    […] posted my absolutely favorite playdough recipe before along with a quick experiment using kids’ paints to color the playdough instead of […]

  5. December 9, 2020

    […] you haven’t made playdough before or are looking to see how I make mine you can check out my favorite go to playdough recipe here. If you’re out of food dye you can easily leave it out for a plain white playdough (and later […]

  6. April 28, 2021

    […] years ago, before their grandma came for a visit, I decided to revitalize their Play-Doh kit using our favorite playdough recipe and the original Play-Doh containers. A little bit of work and sensory play that one day made the […]

  7. September 8, 2021

    […] to give you an overview of all of my previous playdough related posts, so far, in case you need my playdough recipe or if any of these ideas better fit what you are looking […]

  8. October 12, 2022

    […] to be a part of the action so she asked to decorate Zoey’s treat bag. Once they had finished I made some playdough, bought and gathered up some treat bag stuff, divided them out, and stuffed them all into the […]

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