Picture of No Cook Play Dough

Play dough is the stuff childhood is made out of. Even better if the child could make the play dough! With this no cook recipe, you could have a pint-sized assistant make this half-pint of wonderful dough!

Some interesting facts about this play dough recipe: because of the amount of salt used, it does not harvest bacteria. Also, it is not harmful if ingested. That said, you should still discourage it's consumption.

Let's get started!

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Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

For this recipe, you'll need:

2 cups flour

1/2 cup salt

2 tbsp cream of tartar

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 1/2 cup boiling water

optional: food coloring, and glitter (why not?!)

Step 2: Hot Water Methods

Picture of Hot Water Methods

You can either heat your water over the stove top or in the microwave, just make sure it is either boiling hot or near it.

If kids are helping you with this project, keep them clear of the hot water. But you probably already know this.

Step 3: Mixing the Ingredients

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Combine the cream of tartar, salt, flour and oil together.

Step 4: Pour Water Incrementally

Picture of Pour Water Incrementally

Be careful not to add the entire 1 1/2 cups of water all at once. You may not even need all of it to achieve a play dough consistency. I added about a 1/4 cup at a time, and had about 1/8 cup of water left at the end. However, if you find you added in too much water, throw in some flour to even out the consistency.

How will you know if you have achieved the right consistency? Well, if after kneading, nothing is sticking to your hands, you're already there!

Step 5: Kneading

Picture of Kneading

After adding in all the ingredients, take a couple minutes to knead the dough thoroughly so that all it is perfectly clear of any floury chunks. Kids love this part, so let them have a go at it!

TrisC6 months ago


First day of school, for my 5 year old, is tomorrow. My fiancee volunteered me to make play dough for the class.
Following this recipe was not nearly as painful as I thought it would be.

It took about 15 minutes and the kid gets to brag tomorrow that she made the play dough. When I asked what color she wanted she said "Blue Marble".


Dad 1
Mom 0
PandaBeaarAmy8 months ago
Is cream of tartar necessary? What happens if I don't add it?
A good way to incorporate the food colouring is to add a couple drops at a time, kneading like you would edible dough. Keeps the colour inside most of the time until it's safe to handle :)
wgriffith269 months ago

if u do.t add the coloring until last, after n a ball, how do u incorporate it without it staining ur hands? u cant use a spoon or anything. i dnt want my hands neon green for days. I U.DERSTAND once its incorporated it doesnt stain hands bt how do u mix it into the already made dough? lol may b stupid bt curious bc im wanting to do w my homeschool children.

please tell me what is cream of tarter

Cream of tartar is a white powder, found in the spices section at the grocery store. It has many uses. (:

genterara made it!11 months ago

Thanks, my kid had a blast.

He didn`t care it was salty at all.

morahlaura11 months ago
Here's a tip I learned when my kids were in preschool: if the dough gets stiff, add some hand cream or hair conditioner to re-moisten instead of water. It will be much smoother! Another tip: add cinnamon, Apple pie spice, ground cloves or other sweet smelling spices for a nice smelling play-dough. But not if it will encourage consumption.
cdevildevil11 months ago

What does the cream of tartar do in this recipe?

I think I found my own answer. Apparently it helps strengthen the dough.

thehbird12 months ago
Um me not being as brilliant as you would like to know what incrementally means ;)

Incrementally just means "bit by bit" in this case. In other words: don't pour all the water you have at once, just pour it in smaller increments. Hope this helps!

evaGood12 months ago
I didn't use any cream of tartar but it's still great I love it
Ageless Kronos made it!12 months ago

here is my final Product!

amalkhan (author)  Ageless Kronos12 months ago

yeay!!! Thanks for sharing!!

Where can I find cream of tartar?

Any grocery store should have it. Usually in the aisle where they sell bottled & bagged spices. It'll be a small container since you don't need to use much, usually. I think it is also used for whipping egg whites sometimes. I don't know the chemistry behind that though.

amalkhan (author)  maria_loves2sing12 months ago
Anywhere that sells spices/ baking supplies! It's actually fairly common, and used in soups and play dough ;)
Ageless Kronos12 months ago
just completed this ible and my daughter loves it and it was fun to make too ;)
amalkhan (author)  Ageless Kronos12 months ago
Post some pics of your product! Would love to see!
Omg this is awesome for my little sister and I to make together. Very detailed and specific, I live this post.
ibannerman1 year ago
Won't the food coloring stain hands and surfaces?
amalkhan (author)  ibannerman12 months ago
Nope! Once it is well incorporated into the dough, the color will not bleed onto anything else.
coolsista91 year ago
Really good