The BEST Homemade Play Dough Recipe {Picture Tutorial}

 best playdough

I am always trying to find things {other than TV & video games} for my kids to do. They all love play dough and this is the BEST recipe. It is my mother-in-law’s recipe and always turns out perfectly.

Here is what you need:



1 cup water

2 Tbsp. oil

Food coloring

1 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

2 tsp. cream of tartar

I had lots of helpers today.That is another thing I love about the play dough, the kids love to choose what color they want and help make it. We made 4 batches in about 40 minutes.


Add the water, oil & food coloring to a saucepan


I add a few drops of food coloring


mix those ingredients together


then add the flour,


salt and


cream of tartar.


Stir constantly over medium low heat.



it starts to thicken and pull away from the sides


once it starts to form a ball remove it from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes so you don’t burn yourself


remove from the pan


and gently knead it.


now your kids are ready to play with it


best playdough



now you have happy kids {for a little while}


Here is a homemade play dough recipe card for you (just right click on it and save it).

playdough recipe copy


  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! And I love your colors! How fun!

  • Connie

    I’ve made a similar recipe but used a package of unsweetened Koolaid to color and scent the dough. Kids LOVED it.

  • Yvonne Bush

    I used to make this same recipe for playdough when I had a daycare years ago. I loved it because it was not toxic and alot cheaper then buying the store stuff.

  • Tennille

    I made this with my two boys and my oldest played with it for two hours and my 2 year old that has not discovered TV yet, played with it for 6 hours. I had play dough toys for presents we had gotten in the past but the dough had dried out so I would let them play with one set of toys (Cars) and then pull out the next (Cookie Monster) until they were done. They are ready to play again today. This was GREAT!!!!

  • Catherine Sievert

    I have made this for YEARS as a kindergarten teacher. You are right, it is the BEST. When I make it, I stir in a package of unsweetened Kool-aid in place of the food coloring. (food coloring can get pricey) It makes really bright playdough that smells good too!

    • CP

      Food coloring is a lot cheaper than Kool-Aid, especially icing gels. The individual packages are more expensive, but a tiny bit of icing gel goes a long way!!!

  • Stephanie

    This is great! I have been looking for a recipe that actually WORKS for ages. It seems everything else I have tried was too sticky or too flakey. This one is perfect! We have used up almost all of my flour and salt though. Going to have to make a trip to the store tomorrow!
    We are getting a head start and making them into Christmas ornaments. So fun 🙂

  • CP

    This recipe is even better if you mix the water and salt together first, and just heat that in the microwave (or stovetop) until it’s steaming hot, then mix in the rest of the ingredients and stir well. With the microwave, there’s no open flame and it’s safer around the kids. 😀

  • Julie

    love the way your colors turned out! but i could NOT get the same result! how many drops of each color of food coloring did you use? could it be that I used a generic brand? I used 10 drops of blue and the result was a pale blue.

  • Shell009

    Just made this and love it. The texture, consistency is perfect. Soft and squishy! This will for sure be my go to play-doh recipe. Thank you!

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