homemade play-doh recipe

How to Make Homemade Kid Friendly Play-doh

Play-doh is so fun to play with. Even as an adult, I love to play with Play-Doh. Play-doh is great for kids because it encourages creativity, and hands-on play, and gets them away from screen time. 

My toddler loves to play with Play-Doh; every time he plays with it, my little one-year-old wants to join him too. However, he’s still at the age where he’s putting everything into his mouth and licking everything. Even though the Play-Doh sold in stores claims it’s non-toxic, I still get weary thinking about him licking it. 

How to make homemade kid friendly play-doh

I searched high and low to see if there was a safe alternative to Play-Doh and was lucky enough to stumble upon this recipe that uses just a few ingredients. This is a great recipe because it’s safe for kids to play with- especially if you have little ones that are still trying to taste everything around them. 

Homemade Play-Doh is easy and simple to make. It takes about 10 minutes to whip together and it makes a soft, pliable Play-Doh that is enjoyable for kids to play with. 

This recipe for homemade Play-Doh is great because it’s made with pantry ingredients, is simple and quick to make, is inexpensive, and lasts for a long time. Homemade Play-Doh is extremely soft, pliable, and bouncy. It’s easier to mold, shape and create compared to the store-bought Play-Doh which I find to be a little tougher. 

If your children are older, you can include them in making the recipe together. Including kids in baking and making stuff in the kitchen is a great learning opportunity because it teaches kids to read, use basic math skills such as measuring and fractions, hand-eye coordination through pouring and stirring, listening, and following step-by-step directions. 

Materials needed and their purpose: 

The materials that you’ll need for this easy and simple homemade Play-Doh recipe are:

Flour – Create the base of the Play-Doh

Salt – Helps to preserve the Play-Doh

Oil – Prevents the Play-Doh from getting too sticky and sticking to your hands and surfaces

Cream of Tartar – Creates elasticity and flexibility. Allows you to stretch the Play-Doh

Food Coloring – To make colorful Plah-Doh colors

Water – To mix everything together

Bowl – To mix everything in

Wooden Spoon – To stir all the ingredients together

Gloves – To prevent the transfer of the food coloring onto your hands

Air-tight container or zip lock bag- for storage



  1. Mix the flour, salt, and cream of tartar together in one bowl.
  2. Add in the oil and stir everything around.
  3. Mix in warm water and stir everything around 
  4. If you are adding food coloring to the Play-Doh, divide up the play-doh into equal number of small balls to add the food coloring to 
  5. Using gloves, knead the food coloring into the Play-Doh and continue to add more food coloring as you go to get it to the desired brightness that you would like 

Pictures with step by step

Questions and helpful tips

Where do you find the cream of tartar?

Cream of tartar is usually found and sold in the aisle with all of the spices. You can also search online through Target and Amazon.

Can you make this recipe without cream of tartar?

Yes, you can make this recipe without cream of tartar. The Play-Doh may be a little less pliable and stretchy but it will still be fun to play with. 

What are some alternatives to using the cream of tartar?

If you don’t have the cream of tartar, some other options that you can use in the recipe are:

3 drops of lemon juice

2 tablespoons of baking powder 

What if I don’t have food coloring?

That’s okay. The Play-Doh will just be the color of the flour. I’m sure that kids will still love playing with it even if it’s not colorful. You can also use kool aid or Jello to add a splash of color. 

How do you store the Play-Doh?

The Play-Doh should be stored in an air-tight sealed container.

How long does the homemade Play-Doh last?

It can last for several months as long as it’s kept in an air-tight sealed container.

What if the Play-Doh dries out? 

If the Play-Doh dries out, you can add a paper towel with water on top and let the moisture deep into the Play-Doh. If it’s too dry, you can take a few drops of water and knead it into the dough to give it some extra moisture. 

My kids love playing with Play-Doh and they have a ton of fun with it. I feel good knowing that it’s safe and friendly for them to use. This is a very quick and easy recipe for homemade Play-Doh and I hope that your kids will love it too. I hope it will also give you peace of mind knowing that it’s safe to use. It’s a great indoor activity for kids and perfect for any play day.

Read here for some summer safety tips for keeping kids safe.


Looking for fun activities to do with your toddler this summer? Read here for some ideas.

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