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Easy Homemade Playdough Recipe

This easy homemade playdough recipe uses common kitchen ingredients, is cheaper than store-bought playdough, and you can have a batch ready in less than 10 minutes from start to finish!

I love doing fun things with my kids, but I don’t do DIY stuff as often as I’d like because of time and the mess; I have enough messes to clean up as it is without purposefully adding to it!

I look on Pinterest and see all these cute craft projects and ideas for kids. I pin that glitter project that’s momentarily caught my eye and for a fleeting moment, I contemplate actually attempting it. And then the realist in me takes over and I know it’s not going to happen.

Can any of you relate? We’d all love to be those fantastic crafty moms but the simple truth is most of us are just too tired and busy.

If that’s you – or even if you are an amazing crafty mom (my hat’s off to you!) – then this DIY playdough recipe is for you.

The EASY Homemade Playdough Recipe

This is such an easy recipe for making homemade playdough. I found this recipe a while ago and after a few modifications, it’s truly become the best DIY playdough recipe we’ve ever used.

And with four kids, we’ve gone through a lot of playdough!

This homemade playdough recipe is so quick and easy to make, you can make a full batch in less than 10 minutes and your kids will love playing with it for hours!

I made 6 batches in 30 minutes!

In my experience, this playdough recipe doesn’t crumble and make as big of a mess as the stuff from the store. It’s also hardier and lasts longer – I have a batch from well over a year ago that’s still going strong! And of course, it’s non-toxic too!

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Make Your Own Playdough Ingredients:

You’ll need flour, water, cream of tartar*, salt, vegetable or canola oil, and food coloring.

*I highly recommend buying a large container of cream of tartar, such as this one; it’s much cheaper than the tiny ones from the grocery store!

One batch of this homemade playdough makes a large amount, about equal to 2-3 storebought containers.

How to make Homemade Playdough:

Tip: you might want to halve this playdough recipe or make it in 2 saucepans if you want to use different colors. I made 6 batches of the full recipe because with 4 kids wanting to play with it, plus it’s good to have more to go around.

Add 1 cup of flour, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, and 1/3 CUP of salt to a 2-quart saucepan.

Yes, that is 1/3 cup of salt. If you use 1/3 teaspoon or tablespoon, you’ll end up with very sticky playdough. The salt works to keep your homemade playdough from sticking and also helps preserve it, so you definitely want the full amount.

Add 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.

Turn your burner on medium/low and stir.

It will be a little lumpy. That’s okay.

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Keep stirring until it starts getting a little solid. If there are still a few lumps, that’s ok – you can work them out later.

If your stove is already hot or you have a gas stove, this will only take 20-30 seconds, but it may take 2-3 minutes if your electric stove is still heating up.

Once your playdough starts getting a little solid, add the food coloring right away. It will be much easier to mix up if you do it now.

I showed the regular food coloring you can get from the grocery store in the ingredients picture (because it’s easier to identify) but I prefer to use AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste Food Color – this food coloring is amazing – a little goes a long way and you get rich colors easily.

Stir in your food coloring – my kids wanted orange here, not that you can exactly tell the color from the picture below:

Ahh..there it is!

Now the dough will start getting thicker and a little lumpy. Just keep stirring.

Once the dough starts gathering together around the spoon you know it’s done. This may be 20 seconds or 2 minutes from the time you put the food coloring in, again depending on how hot your stove is.

My first batch of easy homemade playdough took a bit longer, but once we got going, it literally only took a few seconds and a total of 2 minutes on the stove from start to finish for each batch.

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Remove your homemade playdough from the saucepan and put it on some waxed paper or a plate to cool

Once it’s cooled, I like to knead the playdough for a minute or two to get out any lumps and to get it to a better consistency. Then again it could just be my excuse to squish it myself before handing it over to the kids… It is kind of fun.

Doesn’t it look fun?

Now don’t you want to make some easy homemade playdough yourself and squish it?

For storage, I have the kids put their homemade playdough in a Ziploc bag. Make sure it’s completely COOL before you put it away. If it’s not, your playdough will get musty and possibly mold.

This playdough recipe seems to be hardier than the store bought stuff and doesn’t dry out as easily.

If your playdough does become dry, you can work a few drops of water into it to restore.

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