How to Make Playdough

How to Make Playdough Noodles with Play Doh Sets

Many of us have fond childhood memories of creating our own worlds with how to make playdough. Now you can share that joy with the children in your life by making playdough at home. Making your own playdough is fast and easy, requiring only a few basic ingredients.

Here are two common recipes.

The Basic (Uncooked) Recipe

Materials Needed:

  1. 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  2. 1/3 cup of salt
  3. 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  4. 1 cup of water
  5. Food colouring
  6. large mixing bowl
  7. measuring cup
  8. wax paper


  1. Prepare the area you will be using by laying out a layer of wax paper.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together breaking up any clumps.
  3. Add the oil to the flour and salt mixture.
  4. Fill out the measuring cup with one full cup of water. Add food colour directly to the water and mix thoroughly. About 7 drops tend to product nice colouring, but add more or less as you see fit.
  5. Slowly add the coloured water to the flour/salt/oil mixture. Pour about 1/4 cup at a time while mixing with a spoon.
  6. Once all the water has been added, continue to stir with the spoon until the mixture takes on a dough like texture.
  7. Transfer the dough to the wax paper and knead until the colour is well distributed.
  8. Enjoy sharing and playing with your playdough.

Stovetop Playdough (This version involves a bit of cooking)

Material Needed:

  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 2 cups warm water
  3. 1 cup salt
  4. 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  5. One tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)
  6. food colouring
  7. a medium saucepan
  8. wax paper

Directions How to Make Playdough:

  1. Prepare your area by laying down a layer of wax paper.
  2. In the saucepan, combine the flour, salt, and cream of tartar (optional). Break up any clumps with a spoon.
  3. Add the oil and warm water to the dry mixture. Place over low heat, stirring constantly until the dough begins to thicken and pull away from the walls of the pan. (Note: the dough will resemble thick mashed potatoes)
  4. When the dough begins to clump in the centre of the pan, remove the pan from heat and allow the dough to cool enough to be handled.
  5. Transfer the cooled dough to the wax paper and knead until the dough is a consistent texture.
  6. Roll the dough into a ball (or several balls) and press your finger down into the centre of the ball creating a divot. Add several of drops of food colouring into the divot, then fold the colour into the dough until it is evenly coloured. Add more colour as necessary.
  7. Enjoy playing with your freshly made playdough.


  1. This playdough is edible and will not harm a child if eaten. (Of course, I wouldn’t recommend eating it. It’s quite salty and unpleasant.)
  2. If you would like scented playdough, add a little flavour extract or scented oil (peppermint or lemon oil are good options) when you add your colour. Be careful to use something that is food grade since little ones are likely to want to put the dough in their mouths if it smells edible.
  3. To avoid staining your hands when kneading the colour into your dough, keep a pair of disposable plastic gloves on hand. Once the colour is completely integrated, it should not come off on the skin.
  4. Be sure to store your playdough in an airtight container. If left out, the dough will dry out.
  5. If your dough begins to dry out a bit, kneading a little bit of water into the dough should “refresh” it. However, after a certain point, you will simply have to throw the dried dough out and begin again.
  6. If you are worried about the dough moulding, storing the dough in the refrigerator when not in use will help keep the growth of mould and/or bacteria down.

To learn more, check out this page about how to make playdough or this page about how to make paper mache. They’re both great. Check out more videos for kids.