The Best Play Dough Ever!

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We adore play dough and have made more recipes than the number of stars!

Each recipe has it’s merits and advantages – like this quick 5 minute no cook recipe or this one that contains no flour or salt!

However, we keep on coming back to this one!

It really is: The best play dough in the world!!


Good Question!

1. It is super soft and does not go sticky.

2. It is cheap to make with ingredients you most likely have already.

3. It lasts for MONTHS when stored in a zip lock in the fridge!


Play Dough Recipe:

This makes a big tennis ball size…

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • food coloring

Play Dough Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a big pot and then put it onto the stove.
  2. At first the mixture is quite runny, but after a few minutes on the stove it forms a dough.
  3. Keep string continuously, make sure to stir the bottom of the pot so it does not burn.
  4. In about 2 minutes your mixture will be like dough.
  5. Take it out, allow it to cool and knead like bread a few times.
  6. Divide the dough into as many colors as you want and add food coloring!
  7. Food coloring goes a long way – so start off with a tiny amount (a tooth pick tip)
  8. Done!


To this play dough you can add scents – like we did here when we made Rose Scented Dough or Peppermint Dough or this Orange Scented Dough…

We play with Play Dough all the time so have set up plenty activities surrounding it: invitations to play, like this fall themed play dough table or this play dough printing.

When we get to the end of the play dough – as in ‘it is getting old and this is the last time we are going to play with it…” we “cook” with it…

You can theme play dough to any event or holiday – like we did here for Christmas or these Halloween Play Dough Monsters…

You can even add glitter!!!

Happy Play-Dough-Ing!!



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  1. Marie

    I just made a batch for my grandchildren. At first was a bit lumpy but then after kneading was smooth and perfect. Thanks

  2. Tammy

    I have made this recipe for years! I have learned to simplify by bringing water, oil and food coloring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in dry ingredients. Just that simple, works every time!

    1. Christine R.

      I’ve been making this recipe for a few years but depending on the batch sometimes I get white lumps in the dough where the flour clumped. Does your method ever do that?


      1. Emma Owl

        Hi! Initially the mixture is quite runny – so you can give it a good mix first – avoiding bumps and lumps.
        As you heat it it hardens up x Let us know how you get on!

  3. afna

    i made playdoh by using baking powder instead of cream of tartar. and it doesn’t last for even 2 days it goes all sticky and gooey. need help could you give a proper recipe without using cream of tartar. how to manage ànd make my playdoh last longer?
    i live in a pretty warm place too.

  4. Amanda Love

    There are so many play dough recipes around but I somehow just can’t get the perfect one for my daughter! I’d love to give this a try! It sounds easy enough to put together. Thanks for the detailed instructions!

  5. Sara

    We love to make play dough. I have never put oil in mine, maybe that is what makes it softer. We will definitely try your recipe.

  6. Dee

    I am so going to have to save the instructions on how to make the Play Dough. I remember my mom making some for me and my kid sister when we were young and I enjoyed playing with it so much.

  7. Pam

    Oh, we love this recipe! I’ve made it with my kids for years and it truly is the best play dough ever. I like how easy it is and it stays soft too.

  8. Rebecca Swenor

    This seems to be the best recipe that I have come across that most people use. I will have to make this play dough recipe for my nieces kids for when they come over. They love playing with the play dough and have fun making things out of it. Thanks for sharing the recipe and ideas.

  9. Karen Clough

    I LOVE this idea. Especially when Playdoh is so expensive when you need to keep rebuying it. My little girl is just starting to get into it so I’ll have to give it a go. I’m going to pin this for later 🙂

  10. Shirley Wood

    Such an easy recipe! Your’s turned out really pretty. The grandchildren always loved playing with play dough when they were little. Pinning your easy recipe for later.

  11. Melissa

    I made this this morning and mine is pretty sticky. I added more flour as I kneaded it. Did I not cook it long enough?

    1. Emma Owl

      Hi! Should not be sticky. You want to try and cook it until all the moisture is gone and there is a very difficult to stir ball of dough in the pot! Let me know how you get on!

  12. Sharon

    I have used this recipe for years as well. Another trick I learned was to use Jello powder instead of food colouring. Provides the color and a lovely fragrance all in one!!

    1. Emma Owl

      You can store it in a tupperware – or better still I put it into a zip lock (plastic bag) squeeze out all the air and seal it!
      Happy playing!

  13. Courtney P

    This is by far the best recipe, but I don’t use a saucepan, I just use a jug of boiling water and pour it in slowly. Works just as well and allows my little one to help with the whole thing.

    1. Emma Owl

      The salt should dissolve through the cooking process. Are you using fine table salt? If so and still not getting the right results – yes – you can dissolve the salt in warm water first and then add it to the rest of the ingredients before you cook them altogether!
      Let me know how you get on!

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