homemade play dough

This quarantine has made home life with a toddler a little more intense. Ro and I are constantly out and about all week, so I have found myself dusting off my old nannying-days activities and tricks, trying to keep our active girl entertained! I got out my go-to easy homemade play dough recipe from years ago and was pleased to see how it entertained not only our toddler but, both me and my husband for over an hour. The fun of homemade play dough is that you get to play with the finished product, but you get to have fun as you make it!

homemade playdough


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • gel food coloring
  • add ins: vitamin e oil, essential oils


  1. measure out all your ingredients, and if you have a toddler helper, let them dump the flour, water, cream of tartar, salt, and oil into a medium saucepan and stir it together.
  2. on medium to low heat cook the mixture and constantly stir with a wooden spoon as it thickens.
  3. once the dough is thick, gathering around the spoon, and is the consistency of dough, dump the dough onto wax or parchment paper.
  4. let cool for 10 minutes
  5. carefully, if the dough is still warm, split into the number of portions of the different colors you want to make. I suggest up to 4 colors for this single recipe.
  6. using your thumb, create a small crater for your dye in each piece of dough.
  7. add in a few dots of color to each dough, and fold the color into the dough, trying to keep the dye contained as to not get it on your hands (gloves are also optional for this step).
  8. optional: once all the color has been incorporated, you can add in a few drops of moisturizing vitamin e oil and/or essential oils for some scent, I suggest peppermint or calming lavender.
  9. play! we like to use plastic play knives and cookie cutters.
  10. store in an airtight container or baggies in the fridge, if it starts to dry out, I like to knead in some more vitamin e oil or veggie oil.

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