How to Make Homemade Playdough

What You'll Need
2 cups white flour
1 cup salt
2 tablespoons oil (any kind)
2 cups water
4 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
Food coloring if desired

Playdough is a childhood staple. Even though it is ubiquitous in the stores, it’s also easy to make yourself. It makes great party favors, birthday presents, and Christmas gifts. Plus, it’s just as much fun to play with now as it was when you were a kid. Here is an easy step-by-step guide to make your own playdough. This recipe makes about two cups.

Step 1 - Mix It Up

A child plays with Playdough.

Begin by mixing the flour and salt together in a pot. Then add the oil and water to the mixture and cook it over low heat on your stove. Stir it frequently with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and then cook it for about five minutes longer until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pot. Turn off the heat.

Step 2 - Knead It

A little girl rolls playdough.

Move the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it. Although it will be sticky at first, you won’t need a lot of flour. Just work out the air bubbles until it becomes smooth.

Step 3 - Add Color (Optional)

A child makes tools out of Playdough.

Your playdough is ready to go, but if you would like to color it, simply add a few drops of food coloring to the mix. You can break your playdough into smaller balls and make each one a different color if you want. This is the messiest part of the project so protect counters and clothing as needed. Alternately, you can add the food coloring when you add the other liquids if you want the entire ball to be the same color.

Step 4 - Store It

A child plays with Playdough.

This playdough will dry out so make sure to store it in an airtight container or a tightly-sealed plastic bag.

Playdough is a lot of fun and when you make it yourself, and you know that it is non-toxic. But, it’s not just for the tiny tots. Recently when we were in a pinch the night before a science project was due for our middle schooler, we whipped up a batch and recreated the human brain. We’ve made the solar system before too. Have fun.