Craft Recipes: How To Make Your Own Play Dough

Some easy homemade play dough recipes that will keep even the most picky child entertained on a rainy day.

If you're looking for a great quiet game that will occupy a child for hours, play dough may be the answer. Here are a few simple recipes to make play dough at home with a minimum of ingredients.

Basic Recipe (may be doubled)

1 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

1 cup water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 tablespoons cream of tartar

Assorted Food Coloring

Uncolored play dough: In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix the ingredients together with a wooden spoon. Stir constantly until the mixture forms a ball. Pour the play dough ball out onto a clean work surface and knead for two to three minutes. The ball will be hot at first so be careful when you start the kneading process. Allow the play dough to cool completely. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. The play dough should last several weeks with proper storage.

Colored Play dough: To produce pastel colored play dough, use the same basic play dough recipe but add the color medium before the cooking process. To produce bright, vivid colored play dough, add the color medium during the kneading process. Liquid food coloring, frosting paste or powdered tempera paint work well in this basic recipe. Here's another great play dough recipe that's actually good enough to eat.

Edible Play Dough

1 cup powdered milk

1 cup creamy peanut butter


In a small mixing bowl, combine the powdered milk and peanut butter. Add enough honey to reach the desired consistency. If the play dough lasts after playtime, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Note: As this recipe includes honey and peanut butter, please make yourself aware of any potential food allergies a child may have prior to choosing this recipe. Here's another edible recipe that converts quick cooking oatmeal into play dough.

Oatmeal Play dough

1 cup quick cooking oatmeal

2/3 cup flour

1/2 cup water

In a large mixing bowl, mix the oatmeal, flour and water together thoroughly. If the dough is too wet, add additional flour. Turn the play dough onto a floured surface and knead it until it's smooth. Add food coloring to the dough during the kneading process. Store the play dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. This is an easy play dough recipe that also smells great.

Kool-Aid Playdough

2 1/2 cups flour

1 cup salt

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cups boiling water

2 packages unsweetened Kool-Aid

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Carefully add the vegetable oil and boiling water. When the play dough comes together, pour it out onto a clean work surface and knead for several minutes. You might want to consider plastic gloves for this recipe as the Kool-aid may stain your hands. Store the play dough in an airtight container in refrigerator.


Everyday kitchen utensils make great tools for playing with play dough. A rolling pin, a few cookie cutters and a plastic spatula can turn any child into a great chef. If you choose to use powdered tempera paint, mix it with a little bit of liquid starch to get a nice glossy color. Play dough is not made to play with in water. Keep your play area and hands dry or you may have quite a mess. As play dough and water don't mix, attempting to clean up a play dough mess that has landed on the carpet or floor with water will only increase the mess. Let it dry out and it will vacuum up easily.

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