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Easy Cooked Playdough Recipe

Kate is a mother of two and holds a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree from Sonoma State University. She's also a passionate researcher.

Make your own playdough!

Make your own playdough!

Make Your Own Playdough!

Making homemade playdough is a great activity to do with your child, and it will yield an incredibly fun end result! By cooking playdough at home, you will know exactly what is in it so you don't need to be concerned if your child puts it in their mouth during playtime.

First, you'll need to prepare the ingredients. You will want to plan ahead for the number of colors and how much playdough you are actually attempting to make as that is going to determine how much of each ingredient you will need.

Besides the ingredients, you will also need a clean workstation to prepare it on that won’t absorb the food colorant you’re using. You’ll also need a pot, utensils to measure and stir, and containers or Ziploc baggies to store it in afterward.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

7 min

12 min

A large fist-sized ball.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (any type)
  • 1 cup water


  1. First, combine the flour, water, salt, cream of tartar, and your chosen oil into a pot.
  2. Place the pot on the stove (low heat) and stir the ingredients until they form into a sticky dough. It should appear sticky, yet it should be dry to the touch. Take the dough off of the heat and scrape it out onto your workspace.
  3. Here’s the fun part! Add your colorant of choice and any other fun additives of your choosing (see below for ideas).
  4. Once you have added all your ingredients, knead them evenly into the dough. The dough will turn into that consistency we all know too well and your ingredients should be distributed in a uniform manner throughout the dough.
  5. Store the finished playdough that won’t be used immediately in an airtight container or Ziploc bag and you’re done!


Use food coloring or Kool-Aid to color your playdough. If you are using Kool-Aid, you will want to make some adjustments to the ingredients, but follow the same recipe. One cup flour, one quarter cup salt, one Kool-Aid packet, between a third and two-thirds cup water, and one tablespoon of oil. (This version smells delicious!)

Fun Additive Ideas

  • Spice blends or essential oils for scented Playdough.
  • Glitter for sparkly dough.
  • Glow in the dark paint for some fun when the lights are off.
  • Black light paint for excitement underneath those fun black lights.

Feel free to be creative and add your own ingredients to make the playdough a little more exciting! Be cautious with what you add if your child is likely to put it in their mouth during playtime.

Getting your child involved in making homemade cooked playdough is a great experience for parent and child alike!

Getting your child involved in making homemade cooked playdough is a great experience for parent and child alike!

Why Should You Make Playdough Versus Buy It?

Fun for all ages, Playdough is an activity that has been in families for generations. The colored dough is frequently seen in daycares and preschools, and also appears in the home in the form of Christmas and birthday presents.

Playing with this fun toy can tend to raise concern, especially when dealing with younger children, due to the possibility of your child consuming it. Not that it is recommended, it certainly does not have an appetizing taste! Although store-brand Playdough is non-toxic, some concerned parents prefer to know exactly what is going into their children's toys, and their hands. If your child is sensitive to wheat or gluten, you would definitely want to use a homemade recipe.

What better way to do this than with a fun and easy-to-do activity such as making homemade Playdough with your child? Most would feel intimidated by the thought of preparing homemade Playdough, but it is actually incredibly easy.

It's Easy and Your Kids Will Love It!

The combinations that can be utilized with Playdough are immeasurable. There are so many different ideas for Playdough, non-toxic blacklight paint to make Playdough glow in the dark like the night sky, pumpkin pie Playdough, orange creamsicle, or essential oil scented!

There are ranges of every color in the rainbow, you can use gel or oil food coloring or even opt-out for a natural colorant option such as beets!

Playdough is a great way to create a sensory experience for your child and also provide them with a way to express their imagination with no boundaries! By making it yourself you not only get to know exactly what is going into it, but you have an opportunity to share a bond with your child and teach them how to do something new in the process.

© 2017 Kate Daily


Tori Leumas on December 18, 2017:

Great hub. My mom used to make it when I was a little girl.