Homemade Play Dough

I can still remember sitting in the little drawer beside the stove, helping my Mama make play dough when I was a little girl. The smell, the way the food coloring looked as her hands kneaded the dough, and the way it felt as I squished it between my fingers and cut it into all sorts of different shapes and pretended I was whipping up some sugar cookies is such a sweet memory for me. Now, I’m making it for my own little man and he has had the best time playing with it all week!

It’s so much better than store bought play doh and it’s so easy to make. Not to mention, if they were to (God forbid) put some in their mouth, it’s non-toxic and made with just a few everyday ingredients. It lasts for over a month in an airtight container (and I keep mine in the fridge).


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water
  • gel food coloring


  • Whisk together flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a pot, then add oil and water.
  • Cook over medium heat until a thick dough forms and sticks to your spoon (a wooden spoon works best for this) – this should take about 5-6 minutes.
  • Dump onto wax paper and wait until just cool enough to handle.
  • If making more than one color, separate.
  • Flour your hands (to keep the dough from sticking to you) and knead the dough well until it is the consistency of playdough and no longer sticky (this is the most important step).
  • Add food coloring and knead until the coloring is distributed throughout the dough evenly and you’ve reached the desired color.
  • Store in a ziploc bag or an airtight container in the fridge for 4-6 weeks.


2 thoughts on “Homemade Play Dough

  1. marymtf says:

    I would have thought that with a cup of salt in the ingredients to preserve things that play dough would last as long as you keep it sealed in between plays. Of course, with it being constantly handled by little hands I wouldn’t want to keep the play dough longer than a month. 🙃
    Thanks for the recipe. I’m going to make this play dough for my two year old neighbour.


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