An Easy Cooked Playdough Recipe

Updated on January 5, 2018
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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.

Making homemade playdough is a great activity to do with your child and 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 play time.

The first step to creating the playdough is going to be preparing 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 time: 5 min
Cook time: 7 min
Ready in: 12 min
Yields: 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 work space.
  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.

Of course feel free to be creative and add you 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 play time.

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 frequents 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 and as most remember, it is certainly not 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.

Not Only Is It Easy—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.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Kate Daily


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      • renee21 profile image

        Tori Leumas 

        2 years ago

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


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