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Classic PlayDough Recipe

This is the easiest playdough recipe you can make and it is the most common. It is a great recipe because it works very well, is very kid friendly, and can be easily taught to other people. It produces a great quality playdough and it makes for quick and easy homemade playdough that works well and will make a great craft project or toy. This is a great place to start if you are looking for the perfect homemade playdough recipe. This recipe is a good playdough recipe for kids, though the cooking means they have to have a parent help out.

Traditional Playdough Recipe

Classic Playdough Recipe

Ingredients for this classic playdough recipe:

  • plain white flour – 1 cup
  • salt – 0.5 cups
  • cream of tartar – 2 tsp (you can substitute 2 tbsp of baking soda)
  • water – 1 cup
  • cooking oil – 1 tsp (if you use baking soda, add 1 tbsp of oil instead of 1 tsp)
  • food coloring

Directions for this classic playdough recipe:

  • Mix all the ingredients together with a fork in a mixing bowl until the mixture is smooth and one solid color
  • Pour the mixture into a pan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Stir until smooth and then until playdough bunches up to form a ball
  • Take it out of the pan and allow the playdough to cool
  • Knead for a few minutes and store in an airtight container

This recipe for playough is the standard homemade playdough recipe and while it does work, make sure you try out some of the other playdough recipes we have so you can find the playdough recipe which works best for you. Your kids will love trying out all these different kinds of playdough and they make a great a craft project.

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  • Catherine

    Great recipe! It worked perfectly.

    I’m going to have to try the gingerbread next time!


  • Tim

    Thanks! Worked great!

  • Charlie

    Awesome, thanks. I tried the gingerbread playdough recipe too and it worked even better than this one!

  • Playdough Chef

    In response to some email feedback we’ve updated the instructions to be clearer and easier to follow! Thanks!

  • jickpea

    Fantastic recipe! It was my first time making playdough and i am so impressed :o) thanks!

  • Playdough Chef

    Happy to hear it turned out well for you!

  • Tennessee Yankee Mom

    Substituted 2 tbsp baking powder for cream of tartar, and 1 tbsp oil instead of 1 tsp, and came out fabulous.

  • Playdough Chef

    Glad to hear it! We will include that in the info, thanks for the tip!

  • grace

    Your playdough is totally awesome, I tryed it with my babysitter!

  • Patti

    So fast and easy! I used Yankee Mom’s substitution with 2 Teaspoons baking powder and 1 Tablespoon oil. I also doubled the recipe to have enough to make several colors. It was so easy and cooled quickly. We had a wonderful afternoon with our granddaughter. Thanks!

  • Marilyn

    How long will the classic playdough keep fresh?

  • HDR photographer

    Thank you for the easy play dough recipes. I made some play dough with my kids using your play dough recipe, and it worked perfectly. The play dough was colourful, and the play dough recipe was very easy to follow.

    I took some photos of the play dough and will be using them on my HDR photo website.

    Thanks so much! I will recommend your site to other parents with young kids who might want to make play dough.

  • lisa

    Do you add the food coloring to before cooking or after?

  • lisa

    Also, do you have to keep this in the fridge like the Gingerbread Playdo? I am wondering what the shelf life is like…or if anyone has any “keeping” secrets.

  • Mary

    Marilyn–if kept in frig it can last nearly a year. However, each time it is played with, it will pick up pet hair, sweater fuzz, a sneeze or two, plus other colors that eventually all squish together as brownish and quite yucky. Make new dough at least every 6 – 8 weeks if it is used often–Sooner if lots of colds are going around.
    I advise NOT using pleasant additives like almond, mint, vanilla flavoring. Very young kids may consider it food if it smells good and they WILL put it in their mouths. The salt content could be potentially dangerous if much were eaten.

  • Nicole

    I made this recipe and kept it in tiny airtight containers, for each color. It lasted me over a year and I live in a very humid climate. It may have lasted longer, but my now that my son is 3 it gets dirty fast.

  • Chryssa Best

    What should I do when the play dough turns out too sticky?
    Thanks, Chryssa

  • brianna

    OMG im impressed first time making it and turned out that this stuff is easier than i toght !!!!!! thanks so much

  • Jennifer

    Baking SODA (in recipe) or POWDER (in comments)?

  • Desiree

    Baking POWDER contains cream of tartar so that would definitely work, but I imagine for something like play-dough the baking SODA would be fine too.

  • Wendy

    I’ve tried both and Cream of Tartar works much better than the baking soda substitute. The function of the cream of tartar in the recipe is to dissolve the salt, so the texture of the playdough with cream of tartar is perfect – just like store bought playdough. Without it it has a grainy texture.

  • http://OurLunarEclipse.blogspot.com Tara

    Love this. I was surprised at how quickly it began to ‘set up’ and turn into playdough from mush. We will be using this recipe again…. and again…. and again. Thank you!

  • Kathy

    Can’t wait to make this for my grandkids! Thanks for sharing! :) :)

  • Kiera

    This was awesome!! I used my blender to mix the ingredients and it turned out very smooth!

  • Tamara

    Mine turned out really sticky! Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!

  • http://virtage-gets-crafty.blogspot.co.uk Virginia

    This was great! I used baking powder and so a little more oil and it turned up perfect! my little one played with it for more than a hour! I also mentioned it in my blog :)

  • http://the-moose-is-loose.blogspot.ca/ Tammy

    Thanks so much! This was super easy! The little one and I made this just before supper and he’s been sitting playing quietly at the table while I make dinner!!

    I can’t believe anyone buys the store bought stuff…this is so cheap and easy!

  • Sierra

    I made this for a therapy tool (SLP) and doubled the recipe. It made enough for 6 kids to have plenty to work with. So much fun to make and so many fun colors to use! I bought the McCormick Neon food colors, turned out nice and bright!

  • Annelies

    Has anyone ever tried baking this, to preserve it? When I was a kid we made something similar without the oil or baking powder, and not cooked. we dried it in a cool oven for hours to make it hard. After baking you could keep it for years.

  • susan

    This was so easy and turned out perfect!

  • mary

    What is the equivelant of .5 cups of salt in tablespoons/teaspoons??

  • Melissa


    Does anyone know what kind of play dough is pictured here? (Tall stack of about 8 colors) I would like to make this kind of play dough! Thank you :)