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Easy Play Dough Recipe

This easy play dough recipe sets you up to create soft, homemade play dough in minutes! Plus it lasts for months in an air-tight container for hours of use! 

One of the best ways to help kids develop eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills is with play dough! My mom used to make a gallon freezer bag for each of her kids each summer. I remember play for hours and trading colors with my siblings. I used to be intimidated at the thought of making it myself. But after consulting with my mom, I learned it’s one of the easiest things you can make for hours of play! 

Feel free to cut out any toxic ingredients and use natural dyes and essential oils if that works best for your family. 

Also, stay tuned for tons of ways to play with play dough activities! You’ll love our free play dough mats, and Christmas sensory bins that use this play dough recipe! You won’t believe how long kids will play with these ideas, and you’ll be ready to make several batches of this easy play dough recipe! 

Yield: 4-5 cups of Play Dough

Easy Play Dough Recipe

Play Dough Recipe

Easy Play Dough Recipe (also known as salt dough) that is extra soft, lasts for months in a sealed container, and is very cheap and easy to make!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • - 2 cups flour
  • - 3/4 cup salt
  • - 1.5 Tablespoons Cream of Tarter
  • - 2 Tablespoons oil
  • - A few drops of favorite scent of essential oils (optional)
  • - 2 cups water
  • - Food coloring


Homemade Play Dough

  1. Mix in medium saucepan : flour, salt, cream of tarter.
  2. Turn on medium heat.
  3. Then add: oil, essential oils, 2 cups of water. Mix well.

    * See Note on adding color to see timing to add it to your play dough mix
  4. Stir liquids into dry ingredients. Cool over medium heat and stir until it forms a ball. 
  5. Remove from heat and place into a gallon freezer bag. Mix in any color/glitter/sand at this time kneading it into the bag. 

Store in air tight container/bag. Should last 4-6 months if stored properly. We used THESE CONTAINERS for ours.


Adding Color Notes

  • if you’re doing all one color add about 6-8 drops food coloring to water before you add to mix. 
  • If you’re doing multiple colors, add them after you cook the batch and mix by hand into bags 

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 329Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 21228mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 2gSugar: 0gProtein: 6g

* Not meant to be consumed, but okay if it is!

Did you make this recipe?

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Play Dough Recipe

Play Dough Containers 

I had a few people ask about the container we used to store our Play Dough. I found these dishwasher-safe BPA-free containers that store about 2 cups that have worked perfectly for us! 

Photos: Chrissy Blake 

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