Tot Tuesday: Make Your Own Play Dough!

Make Your Own Play Dough

This was actually the 2nd Tot Tuesday post I ever made for Family Friendly Frugality. I just pulled the recipe out again though, because the play dough we made back then (back in August!) is just now getting kind of dry.

So I wanted to share it with you again! I hope you’ll give it a try, it is the best play dough recipe I’ve ever used!

I detest the smell of Play Doh. I remember disliking it even when I was a little girl and I loved playing with it myself.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I almost had to leave working in the church nursery because the kids were playing with play doh and the smell just overwhelmed me.

Not to mention…it’s crumbly, it sticks to your carpet, it goes dry very easily, it can be expensive!

The early childhood educator in me knows that there are many benefits to the creative play that play dough offers:

Play dough (and other art materials)

Any early childhood educator will tell you: The benefits of play dough are enormous. Not only does it give children a chance to get creative, it’s also great for small-motor-skills’ development (hand/finger muscles) and can be soothing in times of stress (think of the corporate executive’s squeeze ball)

So I was on the hunt for a make your own play dough recipe that wasn’t crumbly, was easy for my kids little hands to manipulate, and was low cost.
I tried many different recipes. Some were rock hard, some started to go bad after only a day or two, and some required ingredients I don’t typically have on hand.

I stumbled upon this recipe, and with some slight tweaks, it’s the best one I’ve found yet. The consistency of the play dough is more soft and pliable than commercial play doh and it’s very easy for little hands to manipulate. It lasts a LONG time too.

1 cup flour
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1 teaspoon oil
1/4 cup salt
food coloring 

Mix all ingredients, except food coloring. Stir over medium heat until smooth. Remove from pan, let cool slightly, and knead* until blended and smooth. Store in a plastic bag or airtight container when cooled.
*I added food coloring during the kneading process. I also found the dough was way too sticky while kneading and added a good bit of flour until I got the consistency I wanted.
Start Playing!

You don’t need fancy toys to play with play dough; cookie cutters and plastic knives & forks work fine (age appropriate of course)

I linked this post up here:



Published by


Heather is the creator and owner of Family Friendly Frugality. She calls Texas home and is married to her best friend. With 2 children 22 months apart, she has her hands full. So full that she decided to start blogging as a hobby. That hobby blew up into a full time job. Now she's got the husband, the kids and the blog. We're not exactly sure what she was thinking, but she's too busy for us to ask. Find Me On Google +

5 thoughts on “Tot Tuesday: Make Your Own Play Dough!”

  1. I’ll have to give this a try with my daughter this summer! Looks fun! I found you over on BlogHer. Hope you’ll stop by my blog sometime!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Exit mobile version