Play dough

A few weeks ago, I made a big batch of play dough, hoping that Red Chief would take new interest in it. Having a great big lump of the stuff was certainly more appealing to him than the minuscule amounts he had formerly (we had two tiny containers, the kind that people give as party favors).  Now he wants to play with it all the time, and he's constantly giving me brownies and cookies that he's made.

I just let Red Chief use my kitchen things with his play dough. It's easy enough to wash them when we're done, and that way I don't have to keep a lot of extra things around.


Play Dough

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
several drops food coloring
1/4 teaspoon orange extract (or flavor of your choice), optional

Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium-small saucepan, then add wet ingredients and whisk until smooth. Place on stove over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture begins to thicken. Keep stirring. Cook and stir until mixture becomes one big lump and there is no more liquid. Turn out on a dinner plate to cool. After five or ten minutes, give it a good kneading and store in an airtight container.

(Recipe updated 10/8/10)


  1. That seems so easy! Does it smell at all like regular play-doh? I know that you can make sculptures that will dry hard out of a formula very similar to this. I used it to make a relief map once when I was a little older than Red Chief.

  2. It is easy. It only takes a few minutes. It doesn't smell like store-bought Play-Doh, but I like being able to choose my own scent.

  3. This is the same recipe my mother used to make. Works like a champ.

  4. You know what is a great way to color and scent homemade play-doh? Kool-Aid! Sounds weird, I know but the colors are nice and bright and the fruity smell is irresistible. Just make sure you use the unsweetened kind... yeah.

    I have a whole slew of play-doh things: wooden rollers, all kinds of plastic cutters and molds and presses- and a nifty rack to put it all in. I really wish you lived next door; I'd give the whole lot to you as my kids have long since outgrown the joys of play-doh, sadly... I always liked playing with it right alongside of them and now I have no excuse for such foolishness;-)

  5. Thank you for posting this recipe - I've just been looking for one this week - two little ones spending the night with us this week and I need something fun to entertain!~

    Thanks a bunch!