Playing with Dough

On a day like any other where Evan is desperately looking for something new to play with or destroy he found some old containers of play dough. Alas, the play dough was completely dry so I had to resort to my good old friend Google and look for recipes to make homemade play dough. The array of recipes was overwhelming so after looking at about 10 different websites, I found that the best play dough results from cooking the dough, using tartar sauce and using gel colors to tint it.

Here’s the recipe and instructions to make homemade play dough:


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/4 cup salt (To make sure the kids don’t eat the dough!)
  • food coloring (gel is preferable)


  1. Combine all ingredients (except food coloring) in a medium-sized saucepan. I used a cast iron saucepan to make sure the heat was distributed evenly.
  2. Stir over medium heat until smooth. It doesn’t take more than 2 minutes.
  3. Stir continuously until the dough balls and remove from heat.
  4. Once it cools, knead it until smooth and form into a ball.
  5. Divide the dough into as many colors as you’d like to make and add food coloring by kneading it into the dough. (Caution: This can get messy so wear gloves and knead over wax paper if you prefer not to get any coloring on you or your counter top).
  6. Put the dough in an airtight container and enjoy playing with it with your little one for at least 3 weeks if you store it after you use it every time.


Evan helped me knead the dough a little bit but wasn’t interested in adding color to it. After I colored the dough, Evan was very excited to have some play dough to play with and mommy was very excited that she didn’t have to deal with traffic getting to the mall (and at the mall) to buy an expensive imported toy that would end up hidden in a corner of his room to dry out.


Sounds simple enough, right? I couldn’t believe making play dough was so easy and fun! I was very proud of myself for making my own play dough but all my husband could do was laugh and tell me that he had grown up doing this in the 70’s! Either way, Evan loves his play dough and I will be happy to make it for him again any day.

3 thoughts on “Playing with Dough

  1. This is the best recipe ever. We made it when I was young (back in the 70s 😀 ) and mixing the colors was just as fun as playing with the end result. This, by the way, makes GREAT birthday gifts for younger kids. And if you really want to add a bit more flair you can mix in extracts to scent each color: peppermint/red strawberry/pink orange/duh (mint, lemon, almond….) Just punch a ‘deep belly button’ into the ball of dough and add some extract (we never measured but too much will squirt back out at you..maybe 1/2 tsp?) and then mix in.


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