Play Dough Recipe

I let my kids pick their own color.

As promised, here is my homemade play dough recipe.  We  make the stove top variety, as it tends to be a little more elastic and smooth than the no cook recipes.


2 cups flour

2 cups warm water

1 cup salt

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon cream of tartar

5-6 drops of food coloring

scented oils

Stir all ingredients except the food coloring and scented oil together in a pot over low heat.  Continue to stir as mixture thickens.  When mixture pulls away from the sides and clumps together in the middle remove from heat.  Allow mixture to cool enough to handle.  If the play dough is still sticky, you should cook it a bit longer.

Once cool enough to handle, knead dough until it becomes smooth.  Divide evenly into balls and add 5-6 drops of food coloring to each ball.  Make a divot in the center of each ball and drop food coloring into the divot.  Fold dough over and avoid contact with hands and counter tops because food dye will stain!  Knead dough until dough turns a nice and even pastel color (colors will not be as bright as the store bought variety).  My kids love to watch this stage!

Add a drop of scented oil to each ball and get rid of that yucky play dough smell!

Play and enjoy!

Start to finish this recipe takes only 15 minutes and if stored in an airtight ziplock bag the dough will last for weeks.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Mary Alice

    We made this yesterday, though we could only make a half batch because I did not have that much salt! The kids really preferred it to the store bought playdough.

  • Marcia

    Please do not use commercial food dye! This is not good for your children!!! Try a natural source.

  • Texas Mommy

    Thanks, Red! Does your ever separate after sitting for awhile? That is the problem I have had. But maybe yours is always in use so it’s not a problem!