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The BEST Playdough Recipe

No need to buy store-bought play doh after you try our homemade playdough recipe! This easy playdough recipe takes 5 minutes to prep and 5 minutes to make. And the playdough will last for months! It’s super soft, stretchy and non-toxic for kids.

RELATED: Kool-Aid Playdough

The BEST Playdough Recipe

We have tried a few recipes before that require you to mix the coloring in after the playdough is made. This was SO messy! We got food coloring all over our hands and surfaces doing it this way. You’ll love this method because there’s no need for bags to mix the coloring with and no mess too!

It’s easy to make a batch of all different colors for the kids to play with. Just store the finished playdough in an air-tight container. It will help to also wrap it in some saran wrap to keep the air from touching the playdough which can make it go hard.

How to Make Playdough

How to Make Playdough

There are many ways to make playdough – using a stove-top or using a kettle with boiling water. Personally, we prefer the stove-top method. We find it’s easier to mix the ingredients in the pot. There are also no-cook playdough options but we also prefer this cooked playdough recipe. We find this recipe to last the longest and be the softest. This recipe only takes a few minutes to make and it will last for months!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Flour
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Water
  • Oil
  • Food Coloring
  • Salt

Skip down to the recipe card below to see the full recipe instructions and video.

Do you need cream of tartar? 

Yes, if you want a soft playdough and want it to last longer, you need to add a little bit of cream of tartar. We tested different amounts and found 2 teaspoons to be the perfect amount to make the playdough super soft. If you skip the cream of tartar your dough may turn out a bit more dry and crumbly. It also helps your playdough last longer. If you want a dough recipe without cream of tartar, see our cloud dough recipe.

How do you get vibrant playdough colors?

We like to use this liquid food coloring. It makes the playdough much more vibrant than regular food coloring. If you’re using regular food coloring, you’ll need to add in a lot of drops. And don’t mix after you make the playdough – add it into the water instead which is so much easier and less messy!

Best Playdough Recipe

How to Keep Playdough Soft

First wrap your playdough in saran wrap then store in an air-tight container. You’ll notice that playdough will go hard if left out – so the less air that can get to the playdough when storing, the longer it will last!

How Do I Make Playdough Soft Again?

If your playdough dries out and turns out to be a little dry after making it, try adding in a little more oil first. You can knead the oil in with your hands. You can also knead in a little bit of water.

When you’re done making your playdough, get out some cookie cutters and have fun making shapes! We also like using rolling pins and stamps to play with our playdough.

Easy Playdough Recipe

Homemade Playdough Recipe

Playdough Recipe Image
5 from 35 votes

Playdough Recipe

The Best Homemade Playdough Recipe
Prep Time5 minutes
Active Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes



  • In a large bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients (flour, salt, cream of tartar) and mix well.
    Dry Ingredients Playdough
  • Mix food coloring with your water first. Then add the vegetable oil and water with food coloring to a large pot. Mix together.
  • Add the dry ingredients to your pot and mix well.
    Mix Dry Ingredients with Wet for Playdough
  • Cook over low to medium heat until the dough starts to form and becomes dry.
  • Once it starts to form a ball together and looks fully cooked, take off the heat. Let the dough cool first before touching.
  • Once cool, knead the dough for 5 minutes to make the dough soft.



If your dough is not soft, continue kneading for another 5 minutes. If you find it is still too dry add a little bit more oil and knead in. 

More Playdough Recipes

Kool-Aid Playdough

Kool-Aid Playdough Recipe

Cloud Dough

Cloud Dough

Sand Playdough

Sand Playdough

Lemon Playdough

Lemon Playdough

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Recipe Rating

102 comments on “The BEST Playdough Recipe”

  1. I used the amount shown but didn’t seem to be enough water when mixing but was never gooey like in you video. what am I doing wrong?

    1. Is it possible the heat was too high? Try on a lower heat and make sure to mix it all together quickly while cooking.

    1. Store in an air tight container. I usually like to wrap tightly with plastic wrap then remove all of the air out of a storage bag and place it inside that.

  2. Mandy Pratt

    5 stars
    Can I bake this playdoug? My grandchildren want to make foods for their play kitchen (like pizza, cake etc). I’ve left it uncoloured so we can paint the finished product…

    1. This recipe isn’t recommended for baking but search salt dough on my site and that is the perfect recipe for baking and painting.

  3. 5 stars
    love this recipe AND everything on your site! Perfect ideas for our weekly “Science Fridays”. We added a few drops of essential oils for an additional sensory experience. 🙂

  4. Peggy Gulley

    Best play dough. Been making it for years in my classroom. Kids measure and pour ingredients into an electric skillet. I mix it from there. They are 3 yr olds.

  5. Can you use anything to substitute for the flour. My granddaughter is allergic to wheat and so I can’t use regular flour. Any thoughts or ideas

  6. 5 stars
    This was super easy. I quadrupled the recipe because I wanted to divide it and make lot of colors. Our favorite play dough brand uses mineral colors and so I decided to get some to give it a try making my own with the mineral colors. They turned out really pretty. I divided it into balls about the same size as what’s in the well known brand name stuff and ended up with 17 balls. I let my kids each choose 3 colors and mixed them in. We are headed to the park and then they can play with them when we get home. This play dough feels amazing!

  7. Mary Schuh

    5 stars
    Great recipe. I’ve made a lot of play dough for my kids, the kids in my preschool classes and now my grandkids. putting the color in the water is the most efficient., but as a fun activity I divide the cooked, uncolored, slightly cooled play dough into ziplock bags. add a few drops of color and let the kids knead it. The more they knead the more the color distributes. It’s like magic!

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