Make your own play dough with this easy and BEST homemade play dough recipe. Don't be scared to pull out the cream of tartar and sauce pan for this recipe. You will have a batch of the best play dough done and ready in minutes.
Give kids a quick lesson in science, where food (or crafts) come from, and look like a super smart hero! Play dough teaches a bit about science, gives them kitchen skills, AND leaves them with an activity.
If you have kids that love to play with play dough they will also LOVE making homemade pasta! Try my homemade pasta recipe for a fun activity.
We used alot of play dough in my house, as a child. Although my mom hated it! Probably because she found it dried up inside of the couch, on the floor, in her baking pans, and all sorts of nooks and crannies. But with 10 of us, play dough was an inexpensive and effective activity and worth the annoyance. This recipe is one I've been using for decades and am excited to finally share it with you!
Why Cream of Tartar in homemade play dough?
Cream of Tartar acts as a preservative and allows you to make playdough that can be kept for days without molding or going bad. Cream of Tartar also provides volume and elasticity to the dough.
Can I skip the Cream of Tartar?
Definitely. However you will most likely need to toss the play dough after use, it won't keep well. I have heard of good success using vinegar or lemon juice in place of Cream of Tartar. You then would need to store the playdough in the fridge. I haven't personally tried it but have heard good results from others.
Why do you use a stovetop for homemade playdough?
The heat mixed with the flour proteins create a stretchy, elastic mass.
Do you have to knead this homemade playdough recipe?
Yes, but just for a little bit. Only a couple turns will help smooth out the dough and create a soft, smooth, beautiful playdough. Truly...just a little bit!
I like to use gel dye and knead the dye in, by hand to create a smooth color. Feel free to use a Ziplock bag or plastic wrap to protect your hands from the dye.
Tip: try adding a couple drops of your favorite essential oil.
Store homemade play dough made with Cream of Tartar in airtight containers for about a week.
If you skip Cream of Tartar store your dough in the fridge. It will probably last only a couple of days. That's okay...just make more!
Tip: head to the cake decorator section of your local store for fun tools for playing play dough! Many of the tools for fondant and frostings work great for play dough!
the BEST Homemade Play dough recipe
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups water, room temperature
- 2/3 cups salt
- 4 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- food gel color colors as desired
- In a large pot, stir the flour, salt and cream of tartar together.
- Add the water and coconut oil.
- Cook over medium-heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the dough has thickened and begins to form into a ball.
- Remove from heat and put the dough onto wax paper. Allow to cool until you can handle it, knead until smooth.
- Divide the dough into balls (for how many colors you want) and then add food coloring to each ball. Optional: add essential oils. Knead the dough. Note: use Ziplock bags if you don't want to stain your hands.
- Once fully kneaded, it is ready to use!
- Store the play dough inside Ziplock bags or airtight containers to keep soft. If stored properly it will keep soft for several months.
Homemade play dough creates hours of playtime for kids. But, have you tried this easy DIY air-dry clay recipe? Check that out HERE.
Grab some rocks, paint, sticks, and glue to create fun rock caterpillars for the garden! Check out that activity HERE.