How to Make Play Dough From Scratch

Updated February 21, 2017

Play dough for kids is not only a good way to pass time, but it teaches valuable coordination and creative skills. Kids who have a real passion for dough art, however, can go through serious amounts of play dough, making it difficult to keep them supplied with the store-bought stuff. Instead, keep your kids rolling in all the play dough they can use by making your own in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Measure 2 cups water into a large saucepan.

Add a couple drops of food colouring to the water. Stir a couple times. Add the oil.

In a bowl, mix together 2 cups of the flour and the cream of tartar using a fork.

Whisk the flour mixture into the water a little at a time. Stir until you get a mixture of a smooth consistency.

Place the saucepan on the stove and set it to medium heat. Cook and stir the mixture until it thickens into a dough. Place the finished dough in the fridge to cool for at least 30 minutes before use.

Measure 2 cups water into a mixing bowl. Add a couple drops of food colouring and stir it to disperse it.

Add the flour and salt to the bowl.

Mix the ingredients in the bowl with your hands to form a rough dough. Pull the dough from the bowl and knead it in your hands until it's smooth and has an even consistency.


When not using the dough, place it in a resealabe plastic container to keep it from drying out. The dough will dry out over time, but you can slow this process by storing a damp paper towel inside the plastic container along with it.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 cups flour
  • Food colouring
  • 1 tbsp canola
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup salt
  • Sauce pan
  • Mixing bowl
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About the Author

Lauren Vork has been a writer for 20 years, writing both fiction and nonfiction. Her work has appeared in "The Lovelorn" online magazine and Vork holds a bachelor's degree in music performance from St. Olaf College.