The Very BEST Play-Dough Recipe Ever!

Years ago (before Pinterest) I struggled with recipe after recipe for homemade play-dough. The girls and I tried many different concoctions and always had iffy results. Always. Too dry and crumbly. Too soup like. Smelled bad. They always turned into disasters.

But then, I stumbled on the recipe posted here (not found through Pinterest).

I thought, “Why Not? Captain Chaos needs to experience the disappointment that is homemade play-dough, just like his sisters did!”

Please never accuse me of not being an equal opportunity childhood disappointer.

He helped measure and pour the ingredients. And then he stirred everything together.


It looks gross, but he insisted on orange play-dough.


He stepped away while I cooked it. Medium heat, stirring constantly (while simultaneously checking email).

It didn’t take more than 5 minutes and the stuff was all blobbed up and semi-solid. I dumped it out on a cutting board and let it sit for about 3 minutes til it was cooler – still kinda hot, but not so hot that it burned.

Then I kneaded it up and this stuff is like silk. It feels even better than store-bought play-dough and you can see that the color darkened during the cooking process.


The best part was that Chaos LOVED the stuff. He sat and played with it for well over an hour – with cookie cutters and a popsicle stick for a knife. When he was done it wasn’t even crumbly. We just popped it into a plastic baggie and squeezed all of the air out.


One of his reading enrichment activities is to use play dough to make letters, so we plan to try that tomorrow!



1 cup flour
½ cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Combine above ingredients in a large saucepan.

Gradually stir in:
1 cup water
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon food coloring (I used more – just make the color as rich as you’d like)

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until a ball forms. Remove from heat and knead until smooth.


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