The BEST (Super Easy & Soft) Playdough Recipe

INSIDE: Looking for a super easy homemade playdough recipe that will create soft, long-lasting play dough? It’s here! Make this no-cook play dough for your kids – big and small – for hours of engaging sensory play!

The BEST Play Dough no cook recipe

Why I prefer homemade playdough?

When I first started including playdough into our sensory play routine I always would use store bought play dough. And I would have issues with it getting crumbly and making a huge mess and it never lasted as long as it I thought it should no matter how I stored it. After giving up on play dough for a while I reintroduced it using a homemade recipe and I instantly became a fan of playdough!

The BEST Play Dough no cook recipe

In my experience, homemade play dough doesn’t crumble as much and store bought and last much longer! Plus, when you make playdough at home you can make much more of each individual colour than you can buy in store.

This is a playdough recipe is originally from The Imagination Tree modified slightly!

The BEST Play Dough no cook recipe

How to Store Your Homemade Playdough

I store my play dough in a resealable container such as a ziplock bag or any storage container with a lid. Storing it in this way allows it to last for months!

The BEST Play Dough no cook recipe

How to Mix your Play Dough?

Until recently I have been kneading my play dough by hand with amazing results. But if you are lucky enough to have a stand mixer, you can use it to make play dough as well. The stand mixer just makes the kneading process much faster but it is not necessary to make great feeling play dough.

How do you fix sticky playdough?

If you find your play dough is too sticky, add a small amount of flour to your hands as you knead it. Continue adding very small amounts at a time while kneading. You don’t want to add too much flour otherwise it may get too dry.

How to rehydrate your playdough?

If your play dough is too dry or has dried out slightly after play, add a small amount of oil to your hands and knead it into the playdough. Continue adding oil at intervals while kneading until you have achieved the desired consistency.

I also like to add a little extra oil or water to my playdough. Just a few drops more than the 2 tablespoons. I find this makes the play dough softer and increases its longevity.

The BEST Play Dough no cook recipe

How to Make vibrant Play dough?

To make vibrantly coloured playdough, use more food colouring. i.e. 12-15 drops of food colouring.

The BEST Play Dough no cook recipe

How to make Pastel Coloured Play dough?

To make pastel colours use less food colouring about 6-8 drops.

The BEST Play Dough no cook recipe

Food coloring and staining?

The food colouring in the play dough should not stain your child’s hands or their clothing.

What type of oil to use?

I usually use vegetable oil to make play dough but you can use any type of cooking.

How do you make play dough more fun?

Creating a e invitation (an enticing play set up with tools and manipulatives that is irresistible to little hands) is super easy. Here are the basics that I use to create fun and engaging playdough set ups for my kids:

  1. Tools. They will need tools in order to manipulate the play dough. Tools such as knives to cut, rollers to flatten it or cookie cutters to create. But you don’t have to buy tools, kitchen tools work swimmingly as well!
  1. A Theme. This isn’t necessary but I find it helps you decide what items and/or colours to include in the set up. Check out this post for a 40+ of amazing play dough themes and set up ideas.
The BEST Play Dough no cook recipe

3. Manipulatives. This is the real fun part. These are the items you can include for your child to use with the playdough to decorate, embellish and create. Here are some ideas:

  • Small Toys
  • Twigs or small sticks or craft sticks
  • Pipe cleaners
  • LEGO or duplo
  • Buttons
  • Wooden blocks
  • Pony beads
  • Rocks or glass stones
  • Marbles
  • Dried pasta
  • Toy trees
  • DIY cardboard stamps
  • Letter stamps
  • Beans or seeds

What items would you include?

Tips for Making the Best Homemade Playdough Recipe

Here are a few tips for making sure your playdough is the best it can be:

  1. Make sure your salt is fine salt. I usually buy dollar store salt to use in playdough and sometimes the consistancy isn’t as good as other brands. If you find larger chunks in your salt try tossing it into a grinder to make it as fine as possible. Another way to prevent the salt chunks from making it into your playdough is by dissolving it to the boiling water before adding it to the flour. Now this is not absolutely necessary. I have made amazing playdough with chunky salt but I usually end up picking out the larger bits of salt from the playdough.
  2. White flour makes the best play dough.
  3. Make sure your water is hot – straight out of the kettle.


(This post and list contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I may earn a commission. Please visit my disclosure policy for more information.)

  • 2 cups of white all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
  • 1.5 cup of boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • Food colouring
  • Stand mixer with dough hook or Large bowl and Spoon

The Best No-Cook Playdough Recipe

Rating: 5 out of 5.
  1. In a large bowl combine the flour, salt and cream of tartar. Mix to combine.
  1. In a separate container, combine the 1.5 cup of boiling water, food colouring and oil.
  1. Add the boiling water mixture to the flour mixture a small amount at a time and mix until you have reached the desired consistency. If you are using a stand mixer add the water as the mixer is turning.
  1. Add additional food colouring, if desired.
  2. If kneading by hand let the mixture cool before you pick it up and knead it. Knead, knead, knead. Knead it until all its smooth and soft! If using a stand mixer let it continue to mix on high until it starts to form a dough ball.

6. Enjoy your play dough!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.