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The Best Playdough Recipe

The softest, squishiest, BEST play dough recipe you can make at home! Your kids are going to love it.

Play dough is the perfect rainy day activity, and we love making it in our kitchen. When you make your own play dough with the best playdough recipe ever, you get way more dough for your money than when you go out and buy it. Plus, this homemade play dough is so much softer and easier to mold than the store-bought stuff!

At Kids Activities Blog, we love making playdough and have several different recipes for you to try. This DIY playdough recipe has been around forever. When I was teaching kindergarten, another teacher passed it down to me as a “trade secret” but I didn’t think it was fair not to share (what I think is) the best playdough recipe with you guys. So, here it is!

Homemade Playdough Recipe:

2 Cups of Flour

  • 2 Tbsp of Oil (any oil will do, coconut oil, vegetable oil, even olive oil)
  • 1/2 Cup of Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1 1/2 Cup Boiling Water

The secret to brilliant colors in your playdough is using gel food coloring – we find ours in the cake decorating sections of craft/hobby stores, or on the baking aisle in the grocery store. Gel food coloring is definitely the best dye for homemade playdough.

How To Make Playdough:

  1. Pour 2 cups of flour into a bowl.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of salt.
  3. Mix in 2 tbsp Cream of Tartar. (You can find this in the spice section of just about any grocery store.)
  4. Add 2 tbsp of oil. For this recipe I used vegetable oil, but you can use any oil, and as long as it’s a kitchen oil, your playdough will be non-toxic and safe if a little one takes a tiny taste. The sodium level is very high, so we don’t encourage this to double as a snack.
  5. Pour in the boiling water. Be VERY careful because this makes the dough HOT!
  6. Mix all the ingredients together until they form the dough. At this point, if you don’t want to add any food dye to your playdough, you’re finished!
  7. After it’s cooled, to make several different colors of playdough, separate the dough into equal parts and roll it up into balls.
  8. Now, punch out the middle of the ball to leave a little bowl for you to pour your gel food dye into.
  9. Drip your gel dye into the bowls. This is a great time to mix dye colors if you want to make another color.
  10. Knead the dough until the dye is thoroughly mixed. This is VERY messy! If you don’t want to stain your hands, use gloves, and make sure to put something down so you don’t stain your counter (like I did).

Note: We noticed that our dough began to smell a bit sour after a month or two. Our solution: using koolaid coloring (the flavor would mask the smell – but the colors weren’t as brilliant), or adding a few drops of candy extracts/oils. My kids have enjoyed making peppermint or orange or cinnamon scented dough! Have fun coming up with your own scent/color creations.

More Kids Activities

For another play dough recipe and even more kids activities check out all this playdough fun:

About the Author:

Rachel Miller is the original Quirky Momma of Kids Activities Blog and co-author of 101 Kids Activities that are the Bestest, Funnest Ever! & The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments. Rachel can now be found blogging at One Crazy House.

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