Simple Homemade Play Dough Recipes

Whatever the weather we love playdough! It's great for indoor or outdoor play, and can be adapted to suit your child's particular interest. I love this simple non-cook recipe which is quick to make & leaves you with no sticky saucepans to wash up after you've made it!

Simple Non-Cook Playdough

You will need:
2 cups of flour (to make gluten-free play dough use 2 cups of cornflour instead) 
1 cup of salt
2 tablespoon of cream of tartar
2 tablespoon of oil
1-2 cups of boiling water with a few drops of food colouring if you wish to colour the dough. For a natural alternative you could colour the water with fruit teabags (we use 4 in a cup) to give the dough a lovely berry colour & scent.

Mix all the dry ingredients together, add the oil & the hot water & mix vigorously until a smooth dough is formed.
This can be stored for several weeks in air-tight containers, or plastic food bags.

If you're looking for a cooked Playdough Recipe we use the following

Cooked Playdough

You will need:
2 cups of plain flour
2 cups of water (with a few drops of your chosen food colouring)
1 cup of salt
1 tbsp of cooking oil
1 tsp of cream of tartar


Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan & cook over a medium heat until the mixture thickens. Use a wooden spoon to constantly stir the mixture until the dough comes away from the side of the pan.  Allow it to cool slightly before removing it. 

Adding different scents & textures to play dough is easy, here are some of our ideas.

For sensory smelly playdough try adding a few drops of the following to the dough:
peppermint extract
vanilla extract
orange extract
lavender oil
lemon oil
rosemary oil

For textured playdough the following could be added:
a pinch of dry rice
small dry pasta shapes (baby pasta works well)
dry leaves
dried herbs
fresh herbs - these will produce a great smell

For outside play try adding:
short grass cuttings
flower petals
small flowers like daisies
soil for messy mud-like dough.

Have fun experimenting!