Homemade playdough is heaps of fun for young kids to play with, simple and easy to make, and inexpensive too! It is a great sensory play idea for hands-on early learning activities like letters, numbers and colors. Playdough loves to pretend, create, build, imagine and discover! Our playdough recipes below are easy to customize to suit your kids’ interests, seasonal themes, or holidays.
HOW TO MAKE PLAYDOUGH AT HOME
Before you dive into the recipes below, let’s stock the pantry! For these playdough recipes, you will need to have the following items on hand. Once the pantry is stocked with the right ingredients, you will be able to whip up homemade playdough anytime. I bet you will find you may have everything already on hand to try at least one of the following playdough recipes right now!
- Cream of Tartar (consider buying in bulk)
- Food Coloring
- Cheap Hair Conditioner
- Cooking Oil
- Powdered Sugar
PLAYDOUGH TIP: With both the no-cook and cooked playdough you can experiment with the amount of cream of tartar you add. Less makes for softer playdough and more makes for firmer playdough. This might be a fun activity to set up for the kids and a bit of a science experiment for older kids!
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There is other fun (and scented) ingredients you can add to homemade playdough such as:
- Jello Powder
- Scented oils
COLOR MIXING TIP: If you want to make one big batch of play dough and turn it into a few different colors, you can do that too. It takes some good finger strength to knead in the colors, but it works!
For less messy hands, place both pieces of playdough in two separate and sealed plastic bags and knead to distribute the color. Turn it into a surprise color mixing activity. Disposable gloves can help reduce the temporary staining on the hands.
PLAYDOUGH RECIPES TO TRY
This is a classic playdough recipe that you will need to cook on the stove, but it usually yields the best results with playdough fans (your kids). It’s also lasts quite a while if stored properly and kept clean.
Although you do still need very warm water to make this playdough, this easy playdough recipe does not require you to cook it on the stove! If you don’t have access to a stove or don’t want the kids gathered around the cook top, this is the way to go!
This super-soft playdough recipe is a bit different from the first two playdough recipes given above. However it does give a really nice texture for variety in playdough play and is worth trying! Only 2 ingredients make this homemade playdough easy to whip up and fun for kids to help with too.
Sensory play not only involves the hands, it involves taste as well. Some children need to taste everything, so we made our simple edible peanut butter play dough for a fun treat and play idea!
ALSO CHECK OUT: Edible Slime Recipes
Make this lovely and soft fairy dough with sparkly fairy dust. A fun version of our 2 ingredient cornstarch and conditioner recipe.
Just 2 ingredients makes this super soft and squishy foam playdough for kids.
A super easy 3 ingredient taste safe homemade playdough!
ALSO CHECK OUT: Easter Peeps Playdough
Here’s a fun fall twist on our homemade playdough recipe. Make pumpkin pie playdough with playdough activity suggestions included!
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Playdough that’s edible and smells amazing? You bet! This powdered sugar playdough with only 2 ingredients couldn’t be easier, and the kids can easily help you mix up a batch or two!
Celebrate St Patrick’s Day and spring with this easy shamrock playdough recipe.
This is a cooked homemade playdough recipe that has the scents of Christmas added to it. Bonus, free printable Math Mats to use with your Christmas playdough activity.
HOW LONG DOES HOMEMADE PLAYDOUGH LAST?
If stored correctly, most homemade playdough recipes will last a few weeks or more. This also depends on play habits and exact recipe. You will notice when it’s time to make a new batch.
Generally, the longest-lasting recipes will contain a preservative such as salt to retain freshness. Other recipes like our super soft playdough will only last a short amount of time but also make excellent sensory play activities.
You can store your classic or no-cook playdough in the fridge to increase its longevity, but let the playdough cool down first before placing it in your container or zip-top bag.
Our soft playdough recipe can also be stored in an airtight container but doesn’t need refrigeration. This homemade playdough won’t last as long!
HOW TO MAKE PLAYDOUGH WITHOUT CREAM OF TARTAR
Yes, you can playdough without cream of tartar! But I don’t think you will enjoy the consistency as much as it can be a bit more crumbly!
CREAM OF TARTAR SUBSTITUTE
If you don’t want to use either cream of tartar or lemon juice and you don’t want to go through the more involved cooking process of making playdough, then you should definitely try our Cornstarch Playdough recipe!
Not all recipes fall under the description below but our traditional and no-cook recipes do! Turn playdough into a science activity. Many things in the kitchen such as baking and cooking are actually science-based. It’s all in the way different materials react to each other and the new substances that are formed when materials are combined together. Use playdough to explore chemistry and states of matter!
WHAT IS PLAYDOUGH MADE OF?
Our traditional playdough recipe contains five key ingredients which include flour, water, salt, cream of tartar, and oil. The texture of playdough is affected by the cream of tartar, the salt and the type of flour used.
We have used all kinds of flour, like coconut flour and even substituted applesauce for water in our applesauce playdough recipe. You can experiment with cream of tartar amounts too! Less may give you a softer playdough and more a firmer playdough.
The proteins (gluten) found in the most common flours interact with the water and heat to become a stretchy mass that creates the bulk in the playdough
Salt acts as a preservative for long-lasting fun. The no-cook playdough does still use hot water but it doesn’t require the heat of a cooktop.
The oil acts as a lubricant and helps to keep the playdough moist and not too sticky like our borax free slime.
HOW TO MAKE PLAYDOUGH AT HOME!
Click on the link or on the photo for more easy sensory play recipes.