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How to Make Homemade Play-Dough. Easy!

Once kids start playing with play-dough… Game over. You go from perfectly color separated balls of dough to wads of marbelized mud dough in two hours. Play-dough isn’t terribly expensive but when you go through it quickly…thy does add up. Much cheaper to make your own. I tried this to make some for my Jojo and it turned out great. Perfect texture and stretch. 

Granted, my son is still young and he had no interest whatsoever in this weird stuff I was trying to show him. But that ziplock bag I took the dough out of…now that’s fascinating. 


This is a classic play-dough recipe easily found online:

  • 1 Cup of Flour
  • 1 Cup of Water
  • 1/4 Cup of Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Cream of Tarter
  • 1 Tbsp Oil (vegetable is fine)
  • Food Coloring (# of drops is personal preference) 
  • 4-6 drops Kidsafe essential oils for scent (optional). You can also try a flavored food powder like jello or koolaid that might add color and scent. I haven’t tried this yet, though. 

Add flour, salt, and cream of tarter to a non-stick pan or skillet. Mix together. Add water, oil, and food coloring. Mix over medium heat, stirring continuously, until a ball of dough forms. Remove dough from pan and allow to cool. 

If you would like to add scent, try to mix in a few drops of kidsafe essential oil like lavender to the dough and knead to blend in. I particularly like lavender for this use because it’s easy to find, the scent is relaxing (great for rambunctious kids), it’s antibacterial (play-dough that also helps sanitize busy hands? Wow), it’s safe for contact with young skin, and will not harm the child if they eat chunks of the dough. 

Do not omit the cream of tarter. It’s important for proper texture. Buy it in bulk if you plan to make a lot of this dough. Salt acts as a preservative. The oil provides smooth malleability. 

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