Play Dough Recipes

Two easy play dough recipes to make at home with common ingredients

Children and play dough are a natural combination. Homemade play dough is simple and inexpensive to make. There is a variety of home made dough to make, each with its own special properties. Some clays stay fresh longer than others. Some are better for small sculptures. Others are better for rolling and cutting. The following recipes will provide you with several basic types of dough. Feel free to innovate and add colors, textures (like sand or coffee grinds), or scents.

Cornstarch Clay

1 1/4 cup flour

1 cup cornstarch

1 cup salt

1 cup water

This clay can be colored with food coloring or powdered tempera paint

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. If you wish to color the dough, add a few drops of food coloring to the water. Slowly add the water, stirring as you pour. Mix the dough until it can be kneaded without being overly sticky. This clay will keep for several weeks in a covered plastic container. Finished pieces can be air-dried, by leaving out overnight on a cooling rack.

Cornstarch clay is useful for making small pieces such as beads, and for hand-sculpting pieces. It does not roll out easily, so is not the best choice for using with cookie cutters.

Flour Dough

This dough is the traditional homemade play dough that everyone remembers from childhood. It is a firm dough, which is easy to roll, and holds it shape well when cut with cookie cutters.


2 cups flour

1 cup salt

1 ½ cup water

Combine dry ingredients. If you wish to color the dough add several drops of food coloring to the water. Slowly add the water, mixing until ingredients are combined. Then knead the dough until it is pliable.

To cut out the dough with cookie cutters, it should be rolled out to a thickness of 1/4 inch. The shapes can be painted when dry. The dough tends to crack if allowed to air dry. The best method for drying this dough is in a slow oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the shapes on a cookie sheet and leave in the oven for one hour. Once they have cooled they can be painted with tempera paint.

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