Mom’s Playdough Recipe


I know it’s easy enough to buy and I don’t dislike the store-bought stuff but this homemade playdough is THE BEST playdough. My mom made it for us growing up and used to set us up with an array of plates, butter knives, forks, toothpicks, and a rolling pin and let us have at it. Hours of fun, I tell you! It’s been no different for our kids.


I love this recipe because you can control what is in it (for those who care), make it any color you want, or even add your own calming (or focus supporting) essential oils to it before you pass it off to the kids (or keep it for yourself). It is the perfect consistency for molding and shaping, is safe enough to eat – but it’s really gross so I don’t recommend it – and if it is sealed well, lasts a long time.


Here is the recipe for 1 batch of

Mom’s Playdough

1 cup white flour

½ cup cheapo iodized table salt

2 tsp cream of tartar

1 cup water

1 TBS vegetable oil (olive or canola oil)

Food coloring (optional)


  1. Mix the flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a heavy pan on the stove (don’t turn on the heat yet).
  2. Add the water, oil, and food coloring (if using it) and start to stir it – now turn the heat on to low-low/medium.
  3. Finish stirring the ingredients until they are well-mixed as it heats up.
  4. After about 3 minutes the mixture will start to pull away from the pan.
  5. Turn the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper and as soon as possible start kneading it with your hands (as in, don’t burn your hands but get to it asap while it’s still very warm).

Store the cooled playdough in an airtight container and it will keep for several months.


Playdough is one of those things that is timeless and versatile so it’s fun to give as a gift. We have made white and red playdough and twisted them into candy canes and put them in 8 oz. mason jars tied with a Christmas ribbon for Christmas gifts and pink playdough with a heart shaped cookie cutter attached to the baggie for Valentie’s day.


You could add some Young Living Peace & Calming essential oil blend to some playdough and put it in a cute jar and gift it along with an audio drama cd to a family who has just had a new baby and has older kids.


The possibilities are endless!


What is something timeless from your childhood that you still enjoy today? I’m not afraid to admit I can still get into a good playdough sesh (but more than likely I’ll be using that time as down time!).



FTC Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links to products I use and love.