The Best Homemade (Super Easy & Soft) Playdough Recipe

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Looking for the BEST playdough recipe that will make soft, long-lasting playdough? Then you have come to the right place! Make this playdough recipe in less than 5 minutes, have it lasts for months and keep your kids – big and small – engaged for hours!

Kids Love Playdough

One of my favourite sensory play activities to make for my kids is playdough. It is the best indoor activity on cold or rainy days and it makes a great way to decompress after a long day at school. Besides hours of countless fun for kids, playing with playdough also has a number of benefits:

  1. Helps promote fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
  2. Encourages creativity
  3. Has a calming effect.
  4. Supports literacy and numeracy.

The Best Playdough Recipe

I have experimented with many playdough recipes over the years with my three kids, but I have always returned to this one.


  • Feels amazing. Soft and squishy.
  • Long lasting. This playdough will last up to 6 months when stored correctly (see more about storage below).
  • It is very inexpensive to make. You can make a large batch of playdough for less than $3.
  • You can customize the colours (see how to create pastel coloured playdough below)
  • You can add scents for seasonal playdough (Apple Pie Playdough or Pumpkin Spice Playdough)
  • Makes enough playdough for multiple kids to use.

Playdough Recipe Ingredients

Rating: 5 out of 5.

(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 cups of boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 2-3 Drops of Gel Food colouring
  • Stand mixer with dough hook or large mixing bowl and spoon
  • Measuring cup and measuring spoons

How to Make Homemade Playdough

  1. In a large bowl combine the flour, salt and cream of tartar. Mix to combine.
  1. In a separate container, combine the 1 cup of boiling water, food colouring and oil.
  1. Add the boiling water mixture to the flour mixture and mix. Be careful the mixture will be very hot!
  2. Add the 0.5 cups of boiling water in small increments until you have reached the desired consistency. Note: You may not need to add all of the water. 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, protect your counters and hands from staining by laying a sheet of wax paper down and wearing gloves. Knead, knead, knead. Knead it until all its smooth and soft! If using a stand mixer let it continue to mix on medium-high until it starts to form a dough ball.
  3. Optional: Add your favourite extracts or essential oils.

How to Store Your Homemade Playdough

Store your playdough in an airtight container such as a ziplock bag or any airtight storage container with a lid. Storing it in this way allows it to last for up to 6 months!

The BEST Play Dough no cook recipe

How to Mix your Play Dough?

Until recently I have been kneading my playdough by hand with amazing results. But if you have a stand mixer, you can use it to make playdough as well. The stand mixer just speeds up the kneading process but its not necessary to make great feeling playdough.

How do you fix sticky playdough?

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

How to rehydrate your playdough?

If your playdough 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 increments 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 playdough softer and increases its longevity. You can also add a few drops of vegetable glycerin to get similar results.

The BEST Play Dough no cook recipe

How to Make Vibrant Playdough?

The secret to making vibrantly coloured playdough, is gel food colouring. If you’re using gel food colouring you will only need 3-4 drops to deepen the colour. If you don’t have gel food colouring add more drops in each batch. i.e. 6-8 drops of food colouring. However, the more food colouring you add the more risk you run of it transferring to hands as your child plays.

The BEST Play Dough no cook recipe

How to make Pastel Coloured Playdough?

To make pastel colours use less food colouring about 2-3 drops.

What type of oil to use?

I usually use vegetable oil to make playdough but you can use any type of cooking including coconut oil.

How do you make playdough more fun?

Creating an invitation (an enticing play set up with tools 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 playdough. Tools such as toy knives to cut, rollers to flatten it or cookie cutters to create.
  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 playdough 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 playdough.
  3. Make sure your water is hot – straight out of the kettle.

Books, TV Show & Playdough Kits!

Book: Exciting Sensory Bins for Curious Kids

Did you know I wrote a book of sensory bins? Click here for more information Exciting Sensory Bin for Curious Kids. Or grab your copy at Amazon

Boring afternoons are made exciting with awesome animal-based bins, like Salty Shark Bay or Yarn Farm. Pretend play bins like Birthday Cake Sensory Play or Bubble Tea Party encourage creativity and imagination. And your kids will have so much fun they won’t even know they’re getting smarter with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities like Sink or Float Soup, Magnetic Letter Hunt or Ice Cream Scoop and Count.

Designed for toddlers 18 months and up.

How to Make Lemon Volcanoes

Book: Super STEAM Activity Book for Kids

Learning all about science, technology, engineering, art, and math sets kids up for scholastic success―and it can be so much fun! Watch kids enjoy building STEAM skills as they color friendly fish, help water find its way to tree roots, solve math problems with mazes, and more. 

Find out more and grab your copy here.

Designed for preschoolers 3 years old and up.

How to Make Lemon Volcanoes

Book: Big Book of Riddles for Kids

Riddle me this: What’s an exciting way to practice critical thinking while having a blast? The Big Riddle Book for Kids, of course! From hilarious puns to tough brain teasers, kids can build problem-solving skills with hundreds of riddles that show them how to think outside the box.

  • 350 riddles for kids—Have hours of fun with riddles, puns and jokes, and math and logic puzzles that’ll get their wheels turning!
  • Level up their skills—Riddles get trickier as kids progress through the book, challenging them as they get better at solving puzzles!
  • Double-check their work—Kids can check their answers in the back of the book with a handy answer key.

Help children expand their minds while having fun with this puzzle book for kids!

Designed for kids ages 6 years old and up.

TV Show: Curious Crafting

I’m so excited to finally share my new crafting TV show Curious Crafting which launched July 1 at on TVOkids and TVOkids YouTube!

Set in the ultimate crafting space, Curious Crafting is a short form pre-school age series about the joy of making crafts. I lead a rotating cast of adorable little preschoolers (including my own) making magic out of common household objects.

In each episode we transform recycled items into magical crafts like a milk carton school bus, paper bag puppet or cotton pad turtle. The crafters learn and laugh their way through each activity while demonstrating what their young imaginations can create. 

Curious Crafting shares the adventure and joy of making art with takeaway lessons for creating crafts at home.

This show designed for toddlers and preschoolers 2.5 years old and up. 


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