Easy Homemade Playdough

I hate playdough. It’s almost a fear. I can’t stand the idea of it getting in the carpet and if the colours mixed, I’d probably spend hours trying to separate them again.

I really can’t explain this. Everything else is on our carpet, I honestly dread to think of all the things that must have been spilled on it. That’s without the child vomit, potty training and any other bodily fluids. And, I’m not in any way a clean freak. Don’t get me wrong, I do this housework, and I tidy up once the kids are in bed, but it’s never super tidy. Things get spilled. I don’t mind, we’ve got kids, it happens.

But, playdough just completely freaks me out.

So, I’m rather ashamed to say, the boy has never really had any. I found myself discussing this briefly with two lovely ladies (@Lentlesslypurpl and @sprinkleofpixie) over on twitter at the weekend, and found myself feeling somewhat terrible. He’s nearly 6, and has been deprived. So, I decided to make some. I basically went for a similar recipe to salt dough. With less salt, more water and a touch of oil, so it’s much softer.

I was incredibly surprised at how easy it was to make. Honestly, it takes less than 5 minutes for each colour, and doesn’t even ruin saucepans (although, it may need a soak!). I’ve been even more surprised to learn, that at almost 6, The Boy is totally capable of playing with it on a tray, at the table. Has made no mess, and hates the idea of colours mixing as much as I do! The Girl has not yet been allowed near it. I may brave that tomorrow. Thankfully, this is totally nontoxic, because we all know she’s going to eat it.playdough_ingredients

You will need:

  • 1 Cup flour
  • 0.5 Cup salt
  • 0.5 Cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. Cooking oil
  • Food colouring (for these I used about 1 cap. More would mean a deeper colour)

This makes the orange amount of dough. Which I’d say is normal. The green, I did first, was double this. Far too much!

Basically, put all your ingredients into a saucepan over a medium heat, and stir vigorously.

That’s it! It starts to thicken very quickly, and will seem incredibly lumpy to start with.


It will also look vile. Keep stirring.


It’ll get very hard to do, but keep going until it’s all come together. It may still be a little lumpy, but that’s fine, remove from the pan and knead it for a few seconds (be careful, it will be hot) until it’s a nice soft ball.

green and orange playdough

If it seems too sticky in your hands, heat it for a little longer. If it’s too firm, add a little more water, and mix together back over the heat.

Now I just need to order a massive Chinese, so I’ve got lots of little plastic boxes to keep it all in.

homemade playdough

My Petit Canard
Two Tiny Hands

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