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How to Make Play Dough

Learn how to make play dough at home!

How to Make Play Dough

Playing with play dough is an activity that kids of all ages love to do.  It’s soft, it’s squishy, and it’s so much fun.  Instead of spending money on the store-bought version, why not make your own at home? 

Making play dough is a great activity in and of itself.  And then, once it’s done, hours of fun can be had as children smoosh and shape their blobs of dough.  The best part about play dough is watching young imaginations at work as they bring their ideas to life.

Keep reading to learn more about homemade play dough!

How to Make Play Dough

The Best Homemade Play Dough

Why Make Play Dough at Home?

Making play dough at home is really easy, and it’s something the whole family can do!  If you are unsure about this DIY, let us tell you why you should go for it. 

Homemade play dough is so much better than the real deal for a number of reasons.  For starters, it is easier on the pocket, and it also seems to last longer than the name brand. 

Homemade play dough is super soft and squishy without being sticky.  And finally, homemade play dough is totally customizable!  You can make it different colors and even add scents to the dough to make it smell good.

How to Make Play Dough From Scratch

Let’s go ahead and make play dough from scratch!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or coconut oil
  • Wax paper
  • Ziploc bags (we like quart size)
  • Food coloring 
How to Make Play Dough

Play dough recipe:

  • In a large pot, stir together flour, salt, and cream of tartar.
  • Add water and oil.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the dough thickens and forms a ball.
  • Remove from heat and place dough onto wax paper to cool slightly.
  • Knead until smooth.
  • Divide dough into balls and place 1 ball per baggie.
  • Add food coloring to each bag, starting with 5 drops, and knead the dough from the outside of the bag.  This will eliminate staining on your hands and it’s also fun for the kids to do.  Add more food coloring until you get the color you like.  
  • And PLAY!  When playtime is over, put the dough back in the Ziploc baggies and seal them tight.  This should keep your homemade play dough fresh for up to 3 months! 
How to Make Play Dough

Have Fun with Homemade Play Dough

Now that you’ve whipped up your very first batch of homemade play dough, it’s time to have some fun!  Grab a few cookie cutters, silverware, rolling pins, the best play doh tools, and other fun accessories to take your play dough inventions to the next level.  If you’re stuck on what to make, try out some of these ideas:  

  • Grow a forest with trees and animals
  • Become a chef and make your favorite foods
  • Build a racetrack with race cars (This car garage goes perfectly with it!)
  • Plant a flower garden
  • Erect exploding volcanoes
  • Go on a beach adventure

There are so many things to do with play dough.  Just let your imaginations run wild and go with it!

What have you and your kiddos made with homemade play dough?  Share some pictures!

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