Playdough (aka Play-doh) is easy to make at home, and fun for kids of all ages.  Here's how to make your own non-toxic toy with custom colors and fragrances.

This is the classic method that involves a bit of cooking on the stovetop - I prefer it because cooked playdough has a better texture than uncooked varieties.  If you want the kids to be able to do it all themselves, try this uncooked playdough recipe.

Warning:  Keep away from dogs and other pets.  Playdough smells like people food but contains lots of salt, and a hungry dog can eat enough to cause a dangerous salt imbalance.

Step 1: Ingredients

Playdough is a classic childhood toy everyone can have fun with, and it's so easy to make at home you'll never buy that stinky store variety again.

Basic ingredient ratios:
2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)

food coloring (liquid, powder, or unsweetened Kool-Aid or similar drink mix)
scented oils


Step 2: Mix and heat

Mix all of the ingredients together, and stir over low heat. The dough will begin to thicken until it resembles mashed potatoes.

When the dough pulls away from the sides and clumps in the center, as shown below, remove the pan from heat and allow the dough to cool enough to handle.

IMPORTANT NOTE: if your playdough is still sticky, you simply need to cook it longer!
Keep stirring and cooking until the dough is dry and feels like playdough.
I've gotten many comments asking about sticky dough, so please just keep cooking a bit longer and it will work!

Step 3: Knead & color

Turn the dough out onto a clean counter or silicone mat, and knead vigorously until it becomes silky-smooth. Divide the dough into balls for coloring.

Make a divot in the center of the ball, and drop some food coloring1 in. Fold the dough over, working the food color through the body of the playdough, trying to keep the raw dye away from your hands and the counter. You could use gloves, a big ziplock bag, or plastic wrap at this stage to keep your hands clean- only the concentrated dye will color your skin, so as soon as it's worked in bare hands are fine.

Work the dye through, adding more as necessary to achieve your chosen color.

1 If you use Kool-Aid or similar unsweetened drink mix for color, test on a small ball first- it won't go as far as the "real" food coloring.

Step 4: Play and store

Play with your playdough- I really don't need to help you there. It's entirely edible, if a bit salty, so it's kid-safe.

When you're done, store your playdough in an air-tight container.
- If it begins to dry out, you can knead a bit of water in again to soften the dough back to useability. Once it's dried past a certain point, however, you'll just have to start over; thankfully it's not terribly difficult.
- If it gets soggy, you can re-heat it to drive off the extra water the dough absorbed overnight.  This is usually the result of high humidity, but is fixable!

You can also bake it in the oven to make hard dough figures and ornaments, then paint or otherwise decorate the surface.  One of the comments below even suggests using baked play-dough as a salt lick for your pet rabbit!  (thanks, redcore4!)

<p>You know you can't make playdough with equal parts water and flour? That's playgoop. Mind the typo. </p>
<p>You know this is a cooked dough recipe... it is always equal parts flour to water. </p><p>1 Part Flour<br>1 Part Water<br>1/2 Part Salt<br>1 tb oil per cup of water/flour<br>1 tsp cream of tarter per cup of flour/water</p><p>Flour contains starch, and when you cook the starch with water it thickens. Mind the comments.</p>
<p>Does this &quot;go bad&quot; after awhile? Any idea how long?</p>
<p>have made a very simple game, you can see here:</p><p>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prZ4orhEWW8</p>
<p>Learn Colors for Kids with Play Doh Cars 2016</p><p>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vkbFLGp8Ok</p>
<p>This recipe is great. But if I want to make ornaments, what temperature do I bake at and for how long?</p><p>Thanks!</p>
<p>I made this with my kids. It was great! Good recipe! </p>
<p>Although the addition of cream of tartar was a little helpful ; I used Arrowroot. The sticky feeling was immediately solved. I wonder what effect it will cause ?</p>
I just made some but instead of cooking ut low heat i took the water and salt and heated it till it was almost boiling and add the rest of the ingredients and mixed and it was done in maybe 2 mins.
<p>I made it. Stirring playdoh is no joke. :-)</p>
<p>Nicely done.</p>
Is it alright to using baking powder if cream of tartar is not available?
Very excited about this. My daughter chose dumbo as her theme for her baby shower. We had lots of fun making it and I'm pretty proud of the results. You be the judge.
<p>Play doh toys:</p><p>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3Psm6vMmI8&amp;index=1&amp;t=8m36s&amp;list=PLevSq7I9zRogg0zPmC4ktg4_TCsKs4Ou1</p>
My 11 year old Grandson made this tonight for a school project! It turned out perfectly! Scented with essential oil too!!! Awesome!
Do u have to use that much salt??
<p>This is great. My daugter will love to be able to make her own colors</p>
<p>Not sure what's going on with the people who say it doesn't work. If you read above the ingredients, you do have to cook it. I've found it best to add the water, salt and food colouring first. Heat and stir while the salt dissolves, then add the flour, oil and cream of tartar and continue to stir. If its still gooey, add more flour. The only times this hasn't worked for me is if I forget an ingredient or add too much of one thing. I think it's better to use 2 tbsp of cream of tartar. This is a pretty basic recipe and is the same as most you will find on the internet. </p>
<p>Just made this for my Toddler classroom, and I have to say, the recipe was easy! I made two different batches (one with fruit punch drink mix, and the other with purple food coloring) and they both turned out beautifully. I like the suggestion of cooking them at about 4 on the stove for ten minutes, that was the perfect amount of time to keep it smooth but not to goopy. I love this super simple recipe, and will be using it again when I can get some more food coloring!</p>
<p>it was a EEEEEEEEPPPPPPPIIIIIICCCCCCCCC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!fail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</p>
<p>this did not work looks like chuncky cereyal with blood.</p>
<p>Okay this is by far the easiest play doh recipe I have ever made. Came out beautifully! My 3 kiddos and I doubled the recipe and followed it to a T. As far as I'm concerned, you MUST use Cream of Tartar for the correct consistency to play with properly. We stirred all the ingredients together, then placed it on the stove on level 4, so medium low. Took a total of 10 minutes stirring every minute or so. Once you feel the consistency is close, turn your stove off and let it finish. I use my hands for the final mixing. Be careful, doh at bottom of pan is hot! Separate into 3 to 4 'balls' and add your coloring. Let doh completely cool before storing in sealed plastic bags. If your consistency starts to harden, just add a bit of warm water to bring back the elasticity to bit. If you do this, your play doh can last for months and be used over and over. Just remember if your consistency doesn't seem to be getting thick, just keep cooking, it will thicken.</p>
<p>Awesome, love the picture too! What happy kids.</p>
Hi made this today cooked for about 45 mins it just keeps sweating. Have wrapped in cling film. Can I recook it tomorrow even tho have already added colour?
Yes, you can re-cook at any point.
I placed it in the oven and I did not need to stir it.
<p>thanks a ton for this post. the clay came out really well. Perfect!!</p>
<p>does this work</p>
<p>Yes! Just be sure to cook it long enough, especially if it's a rainy day.</p>
ill try it but do you know how to make edible cokie doe<br><br>
ill try it but do you know how to make edible cokie doe<br><br>
<p>this absolutely sucked horrible consistency to watery.my two year old son was coverd in this stupid play doh. </p>
Maybe u mixed it wrong I just did it n it works perfectly I just have to give it to my sister n done n make a new batch for my self just try one more time I bet ull hit it !!!
<p>Make sure your heat on the stove top (if doing it this way) is at the right tempter. I like to use low or sometimes when its a rainy day, medium. Also if its not sticking together well enough make sure to keep it on the stove for a little longer, but be carful, it may be very hot!</p>
<p>Keep cooking it until the dough comes together fully. On a rainy day this may take longer than you think.</p>
I just made this tonight. It was great. I made turquoise and purple (Anna &amp; Elsa colors!) ;)
<p>Awesome dough! Sooooooo easy and feels lovely! Put it in the kenwood mixer with the dough hook and mixed normal food colour through, no mess at all! Was still quite warm so the colour &quot;cooked&quot; and does not give off.</p>
<p>Do you have to use scented OIL or can you use something along the lines of vanilla? I am wondering because using something besides oil might mess up the recepe. </p>
I love it but I don't have or know where to get the ingredients.?
<p>Easy, any ingredients can be found in your local grocery store. If you live out of the country ordering online off a website (e.x, Amazon, eBay) is the best way to go.</p>
<p>You could possibly get flour and salt at your grocery store LOL....</p>
<p>Many thanks ,,,</p><p>could i use a starch as binder for these formulation...???</p><p>could i use watercolors (which used in drawing) ???</p><p>appreciate your reply!!!!!!!!!!! </p>
<p>Made these for party entertainment and favors! It's a Tinkerbell themed party and I added green glitter and purplish star confetti. I also added a tiny bit of Lychee scented oil to make it smell fruity. Great consistency. It got difficult to stir while cooking, but it's fantastic!!! I threw it all in the kitchenmaid with the dough hook attachment to add the coloring and add ins. </p>
<p>I love it! What a great idea.</p>
Do I place it in the fridge or leave it out????
<p>Leave it out! The salt prevents anything from growing in the dough.</p>

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Bio: I've been posting Instructables since the site's inception, and now build other things at Autodesk. Follow me for food and more!
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