DIY Kids · Kids

The Perfect Homemade Playdough Recipe (Safe and Non-Toxic)

Have you been looking for the perfect homemade playdough recipe?

Well my friend, look no more.

Today we are talking all about how to make the best homemade playdough with no cooking necessary.

I will also be sharing with you some tips and tricks about homemade playdough making, and answer some homemade playdough frequently asked question.

After a few attempts at trying out a few playdough recipes along the way, I noticed that none of them were quite “it”.

So, I set out to make the perfect playdough recipe by adding “just right” ingredients and measurements  that will make your playdough the perfect consistency.

Let’s do it…

The Perfect Homemade Playdough Recipe 

the best homemade playdough recipe, safe and non-toxic

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Homemade Playdough Ingredients 

Homemade playdough ingredients


STEP 1: Add Ingredients 

  • In a bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together.

Homemade playdough dry ingredients

  • Then, add the oil and boiling water to the mix.

Homemade playdough wet ingredients

Step 2: Mix Ingredients 

  • With a spoon mix all of the ingredients in a bowl
  • Once mixed thoroughly, and the mixture is warm (not hot), mix by hand
  • Roll the playdough a few times on a flat surface using both hands (like pizza or bread though), until thoroughly mixed and soft.

Homemade playdough without food coloring

Note: Caution with the boiling water and the kids if they will be helping you. The playdough consistency should be perfect. But in the event it isn’t as smooth as you would like it to be you can always add a extra splash of oil.

Step 3: Divide the playdough 

  • Divide the playdough into 4 equal parts
  • Press an indentation in the center of each piece

Note: Only divide the homemade playdough if you are planning on making different color playdough batches. If you are only making one big batch of the same color, you can skip this step.

Step 4: Add the food coloring 

  • Place a few drops of food coloring in the indentations you made on each dough batch

Homemade playdough with food coloring

  • One by one, roll each playdough batch until the color is fully mixed into the playdough

Homemade playdough balls

Note: Consider wearing disposable gloves if you don’t want to stain your hands/nails. Although, food coloring doesn’t stain too bad. Add more food coloring if you would like a darker shade of a particular color.

Step 5: Voila! 

You should have beautiful and soft batches of colorful homemade playdough.

Now the kids can use it how they want to as it makes a great indoor activity for kids.

best homemade playdough recipe

Note: Make sure the homemade playdough batches is stored in zip-lock bags or an air-tight container when not in use. That will prevent it from drying out.

Homemade playdough storage bags

Tips and Considerations

It is really easy to make this homemade playdough recipe, however there always some tips and tricks you can implement to make the process smoother. Specially, if this is the first time you will be making it.

So, here are a few things to consider when creating your first homemade playdough batch:

Ingredients Substitutions 

The ingredient list I shared with you earlier is not set in stone. You can feel free to substitute any of the ingredients for other versions of the same stuff.

For instance…

Oil: You can use any cooking oil you wish. I used canola in all of my attempts but you can also use any other, like coconut oil. I will try coconut oil next time. I would hope it gives the playdough a coco-nutty smell.

Coloring: Food coloring comes in different forms. A lot of people use liquid food coloring, but I ended up using gel food coloring. The gel food coloring gave the homemade playdough a beautiful marble finish during the first few mixes. That was a pretty touch (images below).

Water Temperature: I ended up opting for the boiling water. Although I am pretty sure hot water would do just fine, I feel as if the boiling water helped the ingredients mix in together better.

Don’t complicate yourself 

For the purpose of this tutorial I opted to make different color playdough batches.

But, you can opt to make on big batch of just one color.

Have fun with it

There are a lot of fun things your kids can do once your playdough is ready.

Add glitter! 

All you have to do is add your desired glitter amount to each batch and work it in to the playdough.

Homemade playdough with glitter

Here is how ours turned out. Our favorite was the blue playdough with the blue and silver glitter.

Homemade playdough with glitter    Homemade playdough with blue and silver glitter

Try using gel food coloring.

Like I mentioned before, using gel food coloring gave the playdough a beautiful marble finish during the first mixes. So that might be something you might want to try.

        blue marble homemade playdough

Homemade Playdough FAQ’s

Can I make homemade playdough without Cream of Tartar?

Yes. There are other recipes that call for corn-starch, Jell-O, and other alternatives. However, I found the Cream of Tartar to be the best alternative to achieve the perfect consistency. Just buy a good amount on your next grocery visit or order it from Amazon and make homemade playdough over and over at no extra cost.

How do I keep my homemade playdough from drying out?

This homemade playdough is very versatile and forgiving. But, you can keep it at its best by storing each batch in a zip-lock bag or an air-tight container to help it keep its moisture.

If at any point, it becomes a bit dry from prolonged exposure to air, just add a small splash of oil and should help bring it back to life.

How long does homemade playdough last?

Depending on how well the kids take care of their homemade playdough is what will dictate the length of time it will last.

But typically, with this homemade playdough recipe (and assuming it is stored away correctly when not in use,  your dough should last weeks/months.

Why opt for homemade playdough vs store-bough playdough?

There isn’t anything “wrong” with store-bought playdough. We have actually bought it multiple times.

UNTIL, we learned to do it ourselves.

The recurrent expense of buying store-bough playdough that will dry out by the second day is no longer an attractive option.

Instead, we can make our own over an over at no expense (only small initial investment of ingredients).

What’s more this homemade playdough recipe is simple, safe, natural, and perfect for keeping the kiddos entertained at all times.

Other reasons to opt for this homemade playdough recipe:

  • it is natural and safe
  • it’s inexpensive
  • lasts for weeks/months when properly stored
  • you can customize the appearance (color, glitter, patterns, etc.)
  • it’s a fun project for the kids to do
  • it enhances and promotes their sensory and imaginative play

Is there an alternative to food coloring or dyes when making homemade playdough? 

Yes, absolutely.

If you rather not use any type of artificial coloring, try using beet, spinach, and/or carrot juice.

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Final Thoughts 

This is the best homemade playdough recipe I have ever made.

It is my hope that you and your children enjoy making as much as we do.

I would love for you to try it and let me know what you though of it in the comments or simply send me an email at

Will you be trying this homemade playdough recipe? Tell me what you think about it in the comments below…

Oh and don’t forget to pin it for later, so that you can made homemade playdough over and over again!

best homemade playdough recipe, easy and no cooking required


  1. Hi! I have made this a few times now. It has come out both prefect and not so much. The one time, it seemed sticky versus dough-like & so it did not stay together as well. What do you think happened & how could I fix it?

    1. Hey Megan… given that the first time was a perfect consistency, the second time there might have not been enough flour. It has happened to me before. Sprinkling in small amounts of flour until the desired consistency is achieved, is my best advice. Good luck… let me know if it works. 🙂

      1. Hello. Sorry it took me a few days to reply. Ok, so the flour did work to make the play dough less sticky. It seems softer than the batch that came out perfectly. But since it is not sticky any more, I considered it a win. Thank you!

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