How to make playdough

Reading time: 3 min

Children love to get their hands into anything and everything, so why not make them a stash of playdough that will not only provide hours of fun, but will also keep them out of trouble. You don’t need to look far for the ingredients – most of them will be in your kitchen cupboards!



You need:

Double ingredients if you need to make a bigger batch
½ cup salt
½ cup of water
½ cup salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of cream of tartar
1 cup flour
Food dyes for colourants
1 airtight container or ziploc bags
Cookie cutters

How to make it:

  • Combine all the ingredients except the food colourant in a pot and stir over a low heat until warm (when the dough pulls away from the sides of the pot and forms a ball). The cream of tartar isn’t essential but it helps the dough last for six months.
  • Remove the pot from the stove and allow to cool.
  • When cool enough, remove the dough from the pot and knead the dough until smooth.
  • Divide ball into the number of colours you want (e.g. 4) and make dents in the tops of all the balls.
  • Add a food colourant to each ball and gently knead the colour through the dough. Add more colour until you are happy with the result.
  • Place dough in airtight containers or ziploc bags to prevent it from drying out. If it does, just add a few drops of water to soften it again.

“You can buy tubs of playdough but making it at home with your children makes for special quality family time.”


  • Add a few drops of fragrant essential oils to the dough. (Check which ones are safe for children)
  • Add glitter or coloured sand for a different texture.

Watch here for playdough without cream of tartar.

Yes, you can buy tubs of playdough but making it at home with your children makes for special quality family time. When the dough is ready, lay out some newspaper or use a suitable surface and let your children get their hands dirty making shapes using the cookie cutters, or just simply squishing the dough!

Be warned: Your child might eat some of the dough. It isn’t harmful or toxic, but it is very salty so try teach them that this is for playing only. Alternatively, ensure that the younger ones are supervised when they play.

Also read:

4 ways creativity can help children with special needs
Make your own apple piñata