Make your own Play-Doh


By Caitlin Murray Giles


You can certainly buy the technicolor stuff from the store, but creating your own play dough is simple and fun. Plus, the kids really get two activities—making and playing with the dough. Follow these basic instructions to make enough play dough for two different colors or double the recipe to have play dough on hand for multiple children to use.


  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Food coloring
  • Stove
  • Sauce pan, spoon and measuring cups
  • Plastic storage containers


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a sauce pan on the counter. Include your child in the process by letting him gather together the necessary ingredients, then measure and stir.
  2. Once all of the ingredients have been added, move the pot to the stove for cooking. Over a low heat, mix together until the dough forms a ball. You want most of the moisture to evaporate from the dough. The "cooking" process should take about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from pan and let cool. When the dough is cool enough to touch, knead for a minute or two. Add in the food coloring while you are kneading (and wash hands immediately to get the food coloring off).
  4. Store your homemade play dough in an airtight container until you are ready to play with it. Always return the play dough to the container to keep it soft and free from debris. For sanitary purposes, homemade play dough should be replaced every few months (or sooner if it gets lots of use).
  5. If you want a different take on play dough, experiment with additional ingredients like glitter or peppermint extract.
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