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How To Make Easy Playdough - Easiest Homemade Recipe

Updated on November 10, 2011

On this page we look at the easiest way to make homemade playdough or play doh. This simple no cook recipe is easy to follow and will show you how to make play dough. There are lots of different way of making homemade playdough but this is probably the most simple recipe out there. This will give you good safe playdough that will be great fun for your children.

I came across this recipe for homemade playdough because my partner runs a kids club. She has to come up with all kinds of activities that are both educational and fun. Due to health and safety issues they are not allowed to heat anything up and then let the children play with it, so she came up with this simple recipe for homemade playdough. I have seen other recipes online but this seems like the easiest way to do it. So now I want to give you a step by step guide on how to make your own play dough.

Play Doh Ingredients

Simple Ingredients

So first of all what exactly will you need to make your own playdough. Well the good news is that you really won’t need that much. When we worked out this simple recipe we only used small amounts, we didn’t end up with a massive amount of playdough, it was a ball about the size of an adult fist when we had finished. So you can take these measurements and simply double them up if you want to create more playdough. So for our recipe you will need.

1 cup of plain flour

Half a cup of salt

Half a tablespoon of cooking oil

Quarter a cup of cold water

Food Colouring

Glitter (optional)

So these simple ingredients are all that you need in order for the recipe to be a success. Food colouring and glitter are really optional, but if you want your playdough to look good and appealing to children then these are good ways to spice it up a little.

Mix It All Up

Making Your Playdough

So making the play doh really is very simple. It is something that children can do themselves with a little bit of help from an adult. So first of all you need a mixing bowl. Now add the flour and salt and stir well. It is sensible to use a metal spoon as although a wooden spoon is probably easier, it could get stained when you add the food colouring whereas it can easily be washed off a metal spoon.

Mix the flour and salt in the bowl. Now in a separate cup you need to add the half table spoon of oil to the water. Give this a quick mix round. Now you can add the food colouring to the water. Don’t add to much, you only need a few drops in the water, the more you add the stronger the colour will be, but you also risk staining things if you add to much!

Now gradually add the water mix to the flour mix, just a little at a time stirring as you go. The flour will start to ball up as you add the water. When you have added all the water you should have a bowl full of sticky little coloured balls. Now if you are using glitter you can sprinkle this into the bowl. Now the fun part, get your hands in there. You should find that the playdough balls up into one large mass. If it is still a little dry you can simply add a touch more water, if it is to wet, simply add a little more flower.

Your Finished Playdough

If You Want The Real Thing

Your Own Homemade Playdough

Now you should have your ball of playdough. It is important to wash the mixing bowl as if you have been using strong food colouring you do risk staining it a little if it is not given a quick wash. Your playdough is now ready to be played with. If everything has gone according to plan the playdough should be just like real playdough, soft and easy to mould into lots of different shapes.

The only down side to this simple no cook recipe is that the playdough will not last for very long. Given time it will start to go hard and then need to be disposed of. If you keep it in a sealed container in the refrigerator then you will be able to keep it for ten days, but after that it will need to be thrown away.

There are lots of things you can do with your playdough. Make a few different batches and use different colours to mix things up a little. Create large amounts and get sculpting. I quite enjoyed this simple recipe for making homemade playdough, the smell of the dough took me back to my younger days. I am sure that children will enjoy learning how to make playdough and they will obviously enjoy playing with it after.

As mentioned earlier there are many different recipes for homemade playdough, buy if you want a quick easy to follow recipe then this one comes highly recommended. The ingredients are cheap and easy to get hold of and you really will have great fun making this with your children.


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    • profile image

      Artist girl 

      7 months ago

      Does it need anything to make it really smooth

    • Jane51 profile image


      2 years ago from Uk

      Always trying different play dough recipes for the children I look after. Adding glycerine to it is good for smoothe texture and making it last longer too. Thanks for the recipe.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      had to add more water and oil..

    • gabgirl12 profile image


      7 years ago

      I didn't know how easy it was to make. I've always known it as play-doh from childhood and thought it was just modelling clay without knowing you could use 'real' dough. This is enlightening and makes it seem like something I could do in the near future for children.

    • kikalina profile image


      7 years ago from Europe

      looks like an easy recipe. Thanks voted up.

    • andyoz profile imageAUTHOR

      Andrew Orrell 

      7 years ago from UK

      I must confess I had a wee nibble on what we made, a mistake, very salty and not overly nice. Not one for eating this one.

    • Majadez profile image

      Maja Dezulovic 

      7 years ago from Johannesburg, South Africa

      I remember playing with playdough as a kid. I also remember eating it just to find out what it tastes like. It tasted very salty. The half cup of salt in your recipe explains why. This is useful. I have small cousins who I might want to share my playdough memories with, then I'll refer back to your hub to make some. ;)


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