The BEST homemade playdough recipe - I Heart Naptime (2023)

The BEST homemade playdough recipe - I Heart Naptime (1)

Jamielyn Nye
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The BEST homemade playdough recipe – make in less than 5 minutes for under a $1 and have it last for months! Itisso soft and squishy and cuts perfectly with cookie cutters.

The BEST homemade playdough recipe - I Heart Naptime (2)

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Favorite Kids Activity

One of my kids favorite activities is playing with play dough. Itis the perfect indoor activity for when it’s raining, too cold or too hot. When the weather’s nice we’ll even take it outside on the porch. My kids (age 8, 6 and 2) ALL love playing with play dough. My son pretends like he’s outgrowing it, but whenever my girls start playing with it, he always ends up joining in on the fun. I usually give them a few different colors, a mini rolling pin, some cookie cutters and let them go to town. I love seeing their imagination work.

Why is this the best homemade playdough recipe?

  • It is SUPER soft and squishy, but doesn’t stick
  • The play dough lasts for months in a zip top bag
  • It is inexpensive to make
  • It makes enoughfor 4-6 kids
  • You can add different colors and even scents to customize your dough
The BEST homemade playdough recipe - I Heart Naptime (3)

Welove making ourown play dough, because it is so much softer (and cheaper) than the store bought stuff. I find it also lasts longer as well. Over the years I’ve tried dozens of recipes and this one here is the best playdough recipe out there! I got it several years ago from my son’s preschool teacher and figured I better post it to my blog so I don’t have to keep searching for it. At their preschool, the parents take turns making the play dough a different color each month and once I used this recipe, I haven’t looked back. I have slightly adapted the original recipe over the years. The main thing that I have done is cut down on the salt, as I found it keeps the dough extra soft for months!

The BEST homemade playdough recipe - I Heart Naptime (4)

How to make playdough

Playdough ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil (coconut oil works too)
  • Food coloring, optional (I like Wilton gel food coloring or AmeriColor gel)
  • Quart sized bags

Stir together the flour, salt and cream of tartar in a large pot. Next add the water and oil. If you’re only making one color, add in the the color now as well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the dough has thickened and begins to form into a ball. Remove from heat and then place inside a gallon sized bag or onto wax paper. Allow to cool slightly and then knead until smooth. If you’re adding colors after, divide the dough into balls (for how many colors you want) and then add the dough into the quart sized bags. Start with about 5 drops of color (my favorite brands are listed above) and add more to brighten it. Knead the dough, while inside the bag so it doesn’t stain your hands. Once it’s all mixed together you’re ready to PLAY.

Store the play dough inside the bags once done to keep soft. Keeps for up to 3 months.

The BEST homemade playdough recipe - I Heart Naptime (5)

Once the dough is finished, I like to put each dough ball into it’s own quart sized zip top bag. Then I let my kids squish the colors together. It gives the kids something to do, makes it so your hands aren’t stained and then gives the dough a home after. We use the same bag to store the dough when the kids are done playing with it. If you only plan on making ONE color, just add the food coloring into the pan when you add the water (makes it easier to mix it in). My kids can never decide on just one color, so we usually need to divide it out.

The BEST homemade playdough recipe - I Heart Naptime (6)

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The BEST homemade playdough recipe - I Heart Naptime (7)

How to Make Homemade Playdough

4.95 from 258 votes

Author: Jamielyn Nye

The BEST homemade playdough recipe – make in less than 5 minutes for under a $1 and have it last for months! Itisso soft and squishy and cuts perfectly with cookie cutters.

Prep Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 15 mins

Servings: 1 batch

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Equipment

  • Spoon for stirring

  • Gallon size bag or wax paper for cooling

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup salt
  • 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (coconut oil works too)

Optional: food coloring (I use Wilton for brighter colors)

    Instructions

    • Stirtogether the flour, salt and cream of tartar in a largepot. Next add the water and oil. If you’re only making one color, stir in the the color now.

      The BEST homemade playdough recipe - I Heart Naptime (8)

    • Cook over medium-heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the dough has thickened and begins to form into a ball. Remove from heat and then place inside a bowl. Allow to cool slightly and then knead until smooth.

      The BEST homemade playdough recipe - I Heart Naptime (9)

    • If you’re adding multiple colors, divide the dough into balls (for how many colors you want) and then add the dough into seperate quart sized bags. Start with about 5 drops of color and add more to brighten it. Knead the dough, while inside the bag so it doesn’t stain your hands.

      The BEST homemade playdough recipe - I Heart Naptime (10)

    • Once it’s all mixed together, you’re ready to PLAY. Store the play dough inside the bags to keep soft. If stored properly it will keep soft for up to 3 months.

      The BEST homemade playdough recipe - I Heart Naptime (11)

    Video

    Notes

    For a fun addition, add about 1/4 cup glitter to the bag and knead it in.

    My kids love to use cookie cutters to make all kinds of fun designs with the play dough.

    *Disclaimer: This dough should not be consumed by children or pets.

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

    Another fun addition to the play dough is to add glitter. We added about 1/4 cup to the bag and kneaded it in with blue and yellow.

    The BEST homemade playdough recipe - I Heart Naptime (12)

    My almost 2 year old loves squishing the dough. I love watching those chubby little fingers go to work.

    The BEST homemade playdough recipe - I Heart Naptime (13)

    My 6 year old daughter loves pulling out the cookie cutters and making all kinds of designs! She is quite the girly girl. ;)

    The BEST homemade playdough recipe - I Heart Naptime (14)

    Make a batch for your kids once school is out fora summer to remember!

    Add a comment

    1,008 comments

      • Sandy

      I am wondering once all mixed when kids play with it does it stain their hands?

      • Reply
        • Jamielyn Nye

        No once it’s all mixed in, it won’t stain

        • Reply
      • Abigail Young
      • The BEST homemade playdough recipe - I Heart Naptime (15)

      Amazing! Super soft, and fun to use. My daughter

      • Reply
      • Ami
      • The BEST homemade playdough recipe - I Heart Naptime (16)

      This has been such a hit with my toddler! My only issue is the smell is a bit strong, kind of sour. Any recommendations on how to add a scent to the dough? If I add vanilla extract will it affect the color? I plan to make another big batch with diff dyed colors for my kid and friends for a vacation weekend. Thanks!

      • Reply
        • Tammy

        Hi Ami! I haven’t made this yet, but will soon for my grandson. I think if you want to try a vanilla scent, it does come in a clear color , instead of brown. So that wouldn’t affect the pkaydough color. I’d start with a small amount , too, in a small amount of the dough first. Great idea!

        • Reply
      • Lml
      • The BEST homemade playdough recipe - I Heart Naptime (17)

      Being a kindergarten teacher, I have tried a lot of recipes but this is truly the best recipe I have tried. Very pliable! It makes a lot as well. Thanks for posting.

      • Reply
        • Jamielyn Nye

        That’s so kind! So glad you enjoyed the homemade playdough :)

        • Reply

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