Skip to Content

Homemade Play Dough Recipe

Working in the childcare field, I have searched high and low for the perfect homemade play dough recipe.  Let me say as an expert in the field of play dough this is the…

BEST PLAY DOUGH recipe ever!


I try to let the children do as much of the process as possible.

The last batch I made I turned blue, and added a couple drops of essential peppermint oil too.  It did smell like candy canes, so the children loved playing with it and wanted to taste it.


Cream of Tartar can be expensive if you buy in on the spice isle.  I get mine at the stores that sell by the bulk. Practice measuring a 1/2 cup flour into a baggie, then when you go to the store to purchase it in bulk you have a good shot at getting just enough for this recipe.  Mine cost $4.25 for the 1/2 cup.  That is not a bad price for a Gallon Bag full of the most Awesome Play dough in the world.

The wonderful ingredient that you must use is the cream of tartar.  It makes this dough soft and smooth.  The children and parents that have a chance to play with it, all want to know where I got it from.  I tell them it is a secret recipe.  I do not give it them.  But here I am giving out my secret so you too, can enjoy playing with this dough.


Before you cook it.


After you cook it.


I make a hole in the center, add my color and fragrance then give it to the children to knead so they can watch it turn the color that they chose.


Recently I had a 15 year old past childcare child come by while we were playing with this dough.  She sat down to play and said, “Oh wow, you didn’t make this while I was here, this is great, I love this, I would have wanted to play with this everyday!”  She sat and made things for over an hour with the smaller children that were here that day.


For fun, you can experiment with unsweetened powdered Kool-Aid.  This adds color and fragrance.

I have used Orange with pumpkin pie spice in the fall.  This does look and smell like pumpkin pie filling.  But plays a lot less messy. 🙂

So to summarize: This dough is Non Toxic, Very Eatable, Filling, But not recommended as a Meal Replacement. 

Best Homemade Play Dough Recipe Ever

Play Dough recipe

Homemade Play dough Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Not toxic, totally eatable, very filling. Would not suggest as a meal replacement 🙂
Recipe type: for kids
Cuisine: fun
Serves: several children
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons oil = ¼ cup
  • ½ cup cream of tartar
  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large sauce pan. Heat over low to medium stirring frequently until play dough is completely formed and no longer sticky. Allow dough to cool before storing in an air tight container or zip lock bag.
  2. This makes a very large amount of dough.
  3. you can use food coloring to make it into different colors, or all the same color. Also, I like to add spices or essential oils to make it smell good to.

I hope you will take the time to make this with your children.  Let them stir it as it thickens, that is a really cool science project.  Then let them play with it while it is warm, this is a really awesome texture experience.  This makes enough dough for 6 children to have a good amount, or 1 child to have more than enough to build what ever they might want to make.  Above all else.  Have Fun!  Granny