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Homemade Play Dough

We have been making our own homemade play dough for about 5 years now. In all honestly, I cannot even stand to buy the dried out stuff from the store ever since my husband’s aunt gifted my children some of her homemade play dough. It is soft and smooth and doesn’t dry out like the stuff from the store. This stuff lasts for months!

homemade play dough
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Natural Ingredients

The ingredient list is really short for this homemade play dough. Actually, the only ingredient that you may have to go grab is the cream of tartar. Don’t skip on it though because it is the ingredients that make the play dough last for month. It really only takes 10 minutes or so to make, and it’s really good recipe to let your little ones help with. I chose to add cinnamon and cocoa powder to this batch because I wanted some color and scent. So fun! Also, beware though because the little one’s may really think it’s cookie dough! Since it’s made of natural ingredients, I don’t worry too much.

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Optional Add-ins for your Homemade Play Dough

  • Food coloring. This is a great natural alternative.
  • Glitter
  • Cinnamon or nutmeg
  • Essenital oils
  • Lavender pieces
  • Flower seeds
  • Cocoa powder
  • Beans
  • Rocks
homemade play dough
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Ingredients for Play Dough:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 cup water
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • Optional: food coloring, essential oils, spices

Preparation for Homemade Play Dough:

Whisk flour, salt, and cream of tartar together in a medium saucepan. Gradually add water and oil into dry ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture forms a ball into a ball. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool, knead until smooth. Lastly, add in your optionals ingredients like colors, essential oils, spices. Voila!


I really like giving this homemade play dough as gifts or as party favors. It lasts a long time, and you can really make this seasonal for Christmas or colorful to match party decor. You can put in cute little jars or little party favor bags. I put together a list of ideas to make it your own!


  • Leave the dough white and add a cookie cutter for sugar cookie making
  • Add cinnamon and attach a gingerbread man cookie cutter for Christmas cookies.
  • Mix glitter that matches your child’s birthday decorations.
  • Add red food coloring and attach some little rolling pins like these for stocking stuffers
  • Dye the dough yellow and attach a star cookie cutter.
  • Leave the dough white and make a little bag of sticks and rocks for open ended play.

I made some labels that you can easily download and print to make these little jars extra special!

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Make sure to store the homemade play dough in an air tight container. We have stored our in glass and even in plastic gallon bags. Both work fine. Also, if you keep it air tight, it will last for months. I like to keep the play dough, the play dough tools, and some thin cutting boards together for my children to grab for easy play and clean up.

Once the play dough gets a little dry or slimy, toss it and make some more that goes with the next season!

Pin it for Later…

homemade play dough
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