Homemade sensory play is a great way to occupy a morning or afternoon at home with some hands-on fun! Often you don’t even have to look past your kitchen cupboards to whip up awesome sensory play ideas like our cornstarch dough recipe below. Can you make dough with cornstarch? Yes you can, and some say its even better than salt dough. Not quite playdough! Not quite slime! But definitely tonnes of fun!



We love hands-on, tactile and sometimes messy play with all sorts of sensory recipes. This simple cornstarch dough recipe below has just three easy ingredients, cornstarch, dish soap, and water.

Where did this recipe come from? I originally tried a recipe for dish soap silly putty, but it didn’t work well for us. I tinkered with it a bit and the final result was a cornstarch dough that isn’t oobleck or playdough! It’s almost like a homemade slime made with cornstarch as it has some fun movement to it.

You could also use cornstarch dough to make your own cornstarch ornaments rather than the traditional salt dough.  Roll out and leave to air dry over several days.

ALSO CHECK OUT: Cornstarch Playdough

Cornstarch dough 3 ingredient recipe using cornstarch, dish soap, and water


The recipe for cornstarch dough is simple. You may already have what you need  in the kitchen.


  • 1/2 Cup Cornstarch 
  • 1/3 Cup Dish Soap
  • 1 Tablespoon Water

We also mixed in a little glitter!


1. Add your ingredients to a bowl and mix together.

The cornstarch dough should not be sticky, chalky or crumbly.  If it is sticky add a tiny bit of cornstarch.  If it is dry add a tiny bit of water {few drops at a time!}.

The dough should have a somewhat glossy surface and be soft! I suggest after the initial mixing, wash off hands and continue to knead the dough.

You should be able to feel your cornstarch dough continue to move as you press into it. 

 Read more about the benefits of sensory play for kids too!

The movement will be slow and consistent and it does stretch out nicely like slime. However, cornstarch dough will remain in a pile where as slime will spread out.

We loved how the cornstarch dough felt as it moved.  If you are patient you can feel it move slowly and you can see it move too!

ALSO CHECK OUT: Cornstarch Slime


This is a really neat kind of dough for us! I kept it sealed in a container and it lasted a couple of days but it isn’t like homemade playdough that will last for weeks or months!

It also isn’t like our homemade slime which can last at least a week. Just work it around with your hands and it will come back to life for you.

Cornstarch dough sensory recipe with glitter!

 Simple sensory play recipes are great for anytime of the year! Make our cornstarch dough when you want to play with something a little different.


No more having to print out a WHOLE blog post for just one recipe!

Get our free taste safe slime recipes in an easy to print format so you can knock out the activities!




Click on the photos below or on the link for more easy sensory recipes.

Sensory Play Recipes for Kids Tactile Activities


  1. I tried this recipe and it did not work for me. At first, it was very sticky, so I continued to add more corn starch. Then, it was too chalky, so I added small amounts of water. Soon, it became sticky again! Any ideas? I would really like to make this with my preschool class.

  2. I followed the instructions and it was too runny. Very sticky. Then I added small amounts of corn starch, then too chalky. Never reached the consistency you see in the photo.

  3. It is a great idea and I love it but mine rips quite easily, I tried to add some water but it didn’t work. Any ideas?

  4. I’m sorry to hear that. I am thinking that it may vary with brands used and elevation. Hope you will try again!

  5. Instead of water or dish soap I used 1 cup of cheap hair conditioner to 2 1/3 cups of cornstarch it smells nice and keeps hands soft its more of a playdouh

  6. It worked really well! But I used a cup of cornstarch. Half a cup wasn’t nearly enough. Otherwise great , recipe
    Kids love it

  7. I can certainly vouch for the fact that this is a genuinely yummy recipe.
    We had some special guests last saturday and sunday so I gave it a shot.

    Your instructions were so amazing and it did not take so long as
    as I assumed it would to get ready. Many thanks for the wonderful

  8. Hey there! I was wondering how long this lasted because I had another cornstarch slime recipe and it only lasted for about a week. And how does this feel? Is it sticky and messy when you guys made it?

  9. We did not keep our recipe for more than a couple days. It is stickier than our traditional slime because it’s not using the common cross linking agents to form the rubberiness of a more traditional slime.

  10. This was a giant mess for us. We added as suggested to make it better consistency, but nothing worked. Boo!

  11. Tried this with my kids and it turned out awesome! We had to add almost an extra 1/4 cup of cornstarch, but we got it to work.

  12. Yes we have many more recipes for slime you can search for including fluffy slime with shaving cream.

  13. You have to work with it while its sticky, it will absorb the water and become dough.

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