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5 Ingredient Homemade Play Dough

This 5 ingredient homemade play dough is really a game changer as a parent! We use to buy play dough often. It would dry up because lids weren’t put on all the way or the dreaded blend of colors had us constantly replacing containers. Truthfully even when sealed up well the containers wouldn’t last very long. We were lucky if we got a year of use out of them, and most of them time much less – especially when we had friends over playing with it often, too!

This recipe is non toxic, which for our house that is pretty important as we are trying to be as aware of what our littles are consuming or putting their hands on that contains chemicals with affects of long term use. Knowing what is in this play dough and that it is all non toxic ingredients is a huge win!

Although not pleasant or recommended to consume all of the ingredients are technically safe so if your tiny one gets a bite of it they aren’t ingesting anything of huge concern. Just make sure they don’t go back for more bites! 

Most, if not all, of the ingredients are most likely already in you cupboard and all are easily accessible if not. You can also have a lot of fun working with colors and getting creative! 

The entire process takes about 5-10 minutes from start to finish and after a little cooling the play dough will be ready for action! 

homemade playdough ball

5 Ingredient Homemade Play dough 


  • Food coloring – I recommend gel as it stretches further and creates more of a vibrant color
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. Combine salt, flour and cream of tartar to a saucepan.
  2. In a separate bowl mix a couple of drops of food coloring into a cup of water.
  3. Stir colored water into the flour mixture saucepan, then add vegetable oil. Stir over medium heat until well combined.
  4. Reduce heat to low and stir until the play dough reaches a smooth consistency. (If there are some lumps do not fret, you can work those out later).
  5. Allow to continue on heat until the consistency reaches a mimic of play dough.
  6. Remove from heat and place lump onto wax paper to cool.
  7. Once the dough has cooled you can knead out any leftover lumps. 

homemade playdough starter

homemade playdough mix

Be sure to store your play dough in a ziplock bag that seals well or an airtight container. 

You will want to make sure that your play dough is completely cooled before storing as any moisture from heat could cause the dough to get moldy.

If your play dough starts to harden at any point you can easily soften it back up by adding a little vegetable oil to your hands and knead the ball of dough to loosen it up!

If stored and handled properly this dough could last for a year or more and it is so easy, and cheap, to replace when the day comes to!

homemade playdough consistency

Fun Ways To Play and Learn with Play dough

Free play with play dough is tons of fun. You can build, and bake and use tools to do all sorts of things. You don’t even need to buy store bought tools. Some great options is to make cookie cutters out of tin foil, use the bottom of cans or bottles as stampers and even magnets for fun shapes!

However that is just the tip of the iceberg in ways to incorporate play dough into a fun day for the kids. You can use play dough to also do some creative learning activities. Check out a couple of our households favorites…


homemade playdough cutter

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