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5 Great Playdough Recipes

Full disclosure:  I don’t create any of these.  They are just my favorite ones to make, some with the kids and some at home for the classroom.

Kool-aid Playdough (smells soooo good)


  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 cups water
  • Saucepan
  • Food coloring, tempera powder, or Kool-Aid powder for color
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 2 tablespoons alum


  1. Combine salt and water in saucepan and boil until salt dissolves.
  2. Remove from heat and tint with food coloring, tempera powder, or Kool-Aid.
  3. Add oil, flour, and alum.
  4. Knead until smooth.
  5. This dough will last 2 months or longer.


child cooking No-Cook Playdough


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • Food coloring or powdered paint

Mix it.  Keep kneading it until it’s just right. Depending on the age of the cooks it will take between 2 and 30 minutes.  Just keep smooshing and rolling.  Add a touch of essential oil or extract (vanilla or peppermint) to make it smell wonderful!


Long Lasting Playdough


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil of your choice
  • 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • food coloring and scents of your choice


  1. Place all ingredients in sauce pan
  2. Stir till well blended
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring often until it forms one large ball.
  4. Remove from heat immediately.
  5. Place play dough onto waxed paper or your countertop.
  6. When cool enough, knead until smooth.

child cookingNontraditional Playdough


  • 3 cups conditioner
  • 2 cups corn starch


  1. Combine cornstarch and conditioner in a bowl.
  2. Paint or food coloring can be added, scent is already there with the conditioner.

child cookingBoiling Water Playdough


  • 1.5 cups conditioner
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons of oil of your choice
  • 1 cup boiling water


  1. Combine in a bowl using a spoon until cool enough to touch
  2. Knead until smooth.

All of these recipes yield great dough for increasing fine motor control, managing frustration, stimulating the senses, and making your day better.  If the dough doesn’t turn out just right, make adjustments.  For the flour based doughs, if it is too sticky – add more flour; too clumpy, add more boiled water; too stiff add more oil or just roll it more in your hands. 

What is your favorite playdough recipe?

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