kid playing with colored clay

Homemade Playdough Recipes for Kids

Best Playdough Recipes for Kids

Playdough is one of the most universally beloved kids activities for a reason. It’s moldable, portable, and fairly mess free! If you are looking to take it one step further, try making the recipe at home. There are a variety of ways to make it, and we think all of them are great. Look through the recipes below and pick the one that makes the most sense for your family- from Kool-Aid playdough recipes to organic play dough, there’s sure to be a variety that will work for your family!

How to Make Playdough Without Cream of Tartar

Recipe from Fun Learning from Kids


  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/4 cup of salt
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • Food coloring
  • Any seasonings or scents you would like

The biggest benefit of using a recipe that involves making Playdough without cream of tartar is the cost savings. Cream of tartar can be expensive, and it’s easy to make a fun recipe without it. Instead, you can substitute vinegar or lemon juice for the cream of tartar, and still have an awesome end result.

How to Make Playdough with Cream of Tartar

playdough shapes

Recipe from Domestic Superhero


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp cream of tarter
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1 TBS vegetable oil
  • gel food coloring

However if you are really committed to your playdough making, try a recipe with the cream of tartar! While cream of tartar is not an ingredient you probably keep on hand in your kitchen, it is worth the investment if you are trying to become a playdough making pro. Cream of tartar really helps to get your playdough to the fun gel form and prevent it from staying too wet. Also as a bonus, this recipe stays fresh for a long time, so you can store it and break it out to play with it for days to come!

How to Make Playdough without Cooking

Recipe from The Imagination Tree


  • 2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (coconut oil works too)
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 to 1.5 cups boiling water (adding in increments until it feels just right)
  • gel food coloring (optional)
  • few drops glycerine (my secret ingredient for stretch and shine!)

Not having to cook makes everything instantly better, right? With this recipe the key is to really make sure you knead the dough well to avoid ending up with an end product that is too sticky or wet. The glycerine is a secret ingredient that makes the playdough extra stretchy and fun!

How to Make Perfectly Cooked Playdough

Recipe from iheartnaptime


  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil (coconut oil works too)
  • Food coloring, optional
  • Quart sized bags

There’s nothing like perfectly made playdough. The biggest advantage to this recipe and making it yourself? The playdough turns out much softer than any store bought variety and can be made very inexpensively. Another advantage to cooking the playdough yourself is the flexibility to make it the exact colors you want, or add in fun additional items like glitter or essential oils.

How to Make Kool-Aid Playdough

Girl playing with playdough

Recipe from The 36th Avenue


  • 1 Cup Flour
  • ¼ Cup Salt
  • 1 Packet Kool-Aid
  • ⅔ Cup Water *You will end up using between ½ and ⅔ cup.
  • 1 Tb. Oil

With toddlers at home, there is a good chance you already have Kool-Aid in your kitchen. Most of the ingredients are items that you already have in your pantry, making it easy to whip up a batch of this DIY playdough spur of the moment. Also, this recipe is by far the least ingredients and simplest to make. The playdough will turn out smelling great as well thanks to the Kool-Aid flavoring.

Tips for Storing and Staying Tidy

All of these recipes store well and can be preserved for playtime on another day. The key is to make sure you are storing the playdough correctly so that it does not dry out or get hard. In a pinch, using ziplock bags and making sure they are properly sealed will work. An even better option is to invest in some small storage containers that you know have a strong seal. This will keep your playdough fresh for weeks to come. In fact, unused playdough can last for up to six months if stored properly!