Make your own homemade playdough with this super easy and inexpensive recipe. It feels just like regular playdough, but without all the chemicals.
When I was younger, I would play with playdough for hours, mixing colors together, pretending to make cupcakes, and eating a little here and there. Ahhh, those were the good days…
But now that I am aware of the harmful chemicals and artificial dyes, I’m glad none of my younger siblings ever play with it. Not we have it in the house anymore. It has long since been thrown out.
Still, the experience of playing the playdough is something that can’t be missed out on. Especially if there are young children in your home who want to help cook in the kitchen, but aren’t capable.
One of the reasons why I love homemade playdough is because it is super inexpensive. With simple and cheap ingredients, like flour, water, and salt, making homemade playdough is pretty much a must. Not to mention the fact that kids love it and it’s super easy to make! It only takes a few minutes to whip up for hours of fun!
The miracle of playdough is that kids would play with it for HOURS if you’d let them. They can squish it, roll it out, shape it into virtually anything, cut out shapes, and more!
One of the things my baby brother loves to do most with playdough is cut a shape (in today’s case…a duck), hold it in one hand, and hold the cookie cutter in the other hand, and talk in a really high-pitched baby voice. It’s quite possibly the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Seriously.
You can also add essential oils to your playdough for aromatherapy benefits. Just make sure to add it after the playdough has cooled completely! It’s really easy to knead in a little bit of Lavender, Lemon, or Wild Orange Essential Oil to reap the benefits of aromatherapy.
Letting your child play with playdough that has Lavender Essential Oil in it before bedtime can help them to calm down and relax.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ cup salt
- 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5-7 drops natural food dye
- 3 drops essential oil of choice, optional (I recommend Lavender or Wild Orange)
- In a medium saucepan, combine flour, salt, and cream of tartar. Mix thoroughly with a whisk.
- Add hot water and oil and whisk until there are little to no more lumps in the mixture. Add dye color of choice.
- Place pan over medium heat and stir constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as the playdough thickens. Continue to stir until playdough scrapes away from the edges of the pan and is thick.
- Transfer playdough to a cutting board or silicone baking mat. Knead for 1-2 minutes. The playdough shouldn't be too hot, but if it is, spread it on the cutting board/silicone baking mat and let cool for 3 minutes. Then knead to smooth out any lumps and make sure the color is evenly dispersed. Store in an airtight bag or container.
One thing to note: If playdough is left out exposed to the air for too long, it will dry out. To avoid this, when playdough is not in use, store in an airtight bag or container.
I love how simple and non toxic this is. I have pinned and shared. We will try this sometime. Thanks!
I have all these ingredients!! Pinned!
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
I love playdough – I make it all the time for my girls. I never thought to add an essential oil before. I’ll have to do calming lavender *WINK*
Thanks for sharing and linking up to the #SHINEbloghop.
Wishing you a lovely weekend.
Debi Willhoite says
I just picked up my three year old grandson and he has never played with play dough. I saw this late yesterday afternoon and I made a batch and that baby played with this and all my collection of cookie cutters which include numbers, the alphabet, and all my holiday ones, and he played for four hours straight with this stuff! He said, “grandma this is so much fun.” It took me forever to get him to stop to go to bed! Thanks for sharing this and I’m so glad I found it! First thing this morning he wants his play dough lol!
Margaret Anne says
Your comment just made my day, Debi! I’m so glad your grandson loves the playdough. My baby brother plays with it for hours as well. And it’s great that there’s no worries if a little finds its way into his mouth because there are no harmful chemicals in it. I’m glad you found this as well, Debi! Have a great weekend!
I am going to try this with my little 3 year old. He loves play dough and we can’t ever have enough. Thank you for posting!
Can’t wait to make this with my kids! Thanks for sharing !
Hi! I love the colors of your play dough and how it turned out Natural colors are the best!
Visiting from Whipperberry’s linky party! Come visit me at
Sarah Ramberg says
Oh gosh, I remember my mom making salty playdough when I was a kid…and please don’t ask me why I remember it was salty. Thank you for linking up at Snickerdoodle Sunday!!
Sarah (Sadie Seasongoods)
I wasn’t allowed to have playdough or silly putty as a kid. I don’t remember the incident, just that it involved carpet and that we were banned. I never thought about using it for when my son wanted to help me in the kitchen. Boy that would have saved a lot of headache! Thanks for sharing on Merry Monday!
Margaret Anne says
My mom would always get so mad when we mixed the colors or got some in the carpet. Lol! Thanks for stopping by!
Sarah @ Pretty Simple Ideas says
Visiting for Busy Monday. Love this and will make with my niece!
Sarah @ The Teacher's Wife says
This is perfect timing! I have been wanting to make some playdough for my kids for a few weeks now….I’ve never tried it but this sounds easy!
Love it! Thank you for sharing this post at City of Creative Dream’s City of Links last Friday! I loved this post so much that I chose it to be featured for this weeks party. Go grab a button you deserve it!
Christine Cook says
I’ve never made playdough before! I’m going to try your recipe!! Thanks so much for sharing at The DIY Dreamer. Pinned
Maria Alison @ Ten at the Table says
We actually left this out over night, and it was still soft and squishy in the morning. There was a few dry areas, but we just picked them off. You cant even tell the difference. That doesn’t happen with the store bought stuff! Leave it out for 2 hours and it is all dried up! Thanks!
I forgot how much I loved making playdoh for my kiddos when they were young. I am a new Gramma and can’t wait to do that again! Your photography inspires me too, I am a slow learning of lighting, etc.! I’d love for you to share it with us over at Country Fair Blog Party if you find a moment! It would be a perfect inexpensive and frugal yet fun gift idea!
Jan @ Tip Garden