Making Homemade Playdough: A Fun and Easy Activity for Kids

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Playing with playdough is a classic childhood activity that has been enjoyed by generations of children. Not only is it fun, but it also helps to develop fine motor skills and creativity. While store-bought playdough is easily available, making your own playdough can be a fun and engaging activity for both kids and adults.

In this article, we will show you how to make your own playdough at home using simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. Follow these easy steps and have fun making and playing with homemade playdough.

Step 1:

In step 1 of making homemade playdough, you’ll need to mix together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. The dry ingredients are all-purpose flour, salt, and cream of tartar.

All-purpose flour is a staple ingredient in many households and is commonly used for baking. It is made from wheat and is versatile in its use. In playdough, all-purpose flour acts as a binding agent and helps to give the dough structure.

Salt is also a crucial ingredient in making playdough. It helps to preserve the playdough and prevent it from getting moldy. Salt also adds texture to the playdough, making it easier to mold and shape.

Cream of tartar is a powdery substance that is commonly used in baking as a leavening agent. In playdough, it helps to give the dough elasticity and smoothness. Cream of tartar also helps to activate the baking soda that is naturally present in the flour, which makes the playdough rise slightly and gives it a lighter texture.

By mixing these dry ingredients together, you create the base of your playdough. It’s important to mix them thoroughly to ensure that they are evenly distributed, so that your playdough turns out smooth and uniform. Once you’ve mixed the dry ingredients, you’ll be ready to move on to the next step of making your homemade playdough.

Step 2

In step 2 of making homemade playdough, you’ll need to add vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and mix well.

Vegetable oil is a key ingredient in making playdough because it helps to keep the dough soft and pliable. It also prevents the playdough from drying out too quickly, which can happen when exposed to air.

When you add the vegetable oil to the dry ingredients, it will help to coat the flour and salt particles, making them less likely to stick together. This will help to create a smoother and more uniform texture for your playdough. It’s important to mix the oil into the dry ingredients thoroughly to ensure that the oil is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

You can use any type of vegetable oil for this step, such as canola oil, sunflower oil, or even olive oil. However, some oils may have a stronger scent or flavor, so you may want to consider this when choosing which oil to use. For example, if you use olive oil, your playdough may have a slightly olive-like smell.

Once you’ve added and mixed the vegetable oil into the dry ingredients, you’ll be ready to move on to the next step of making your homemade playdough.

Step 3

In step 3 of making homemade playdough, you’ll need to mix boiling water and food coloring (if using) in a separate small bowl.

The boiling water is an important ingredient because it helps to activate the cream of tartar and turn the mixture into dough. When the hot water is added to the dry ingredients and oil mixture, it helps to create a chemical reaction that turns the ingredients into a dough-like consistency.

It’s important to use boiling water in this step because it helps to ensure that the cream of tartar is fully activated. If the water is not hot enough, the cream of tartar may not work as effectively, and the playdough may not turn out as well.

If you want to add food coloring to your playdough, this is the step where you can do so. Food coloring is optional, but it can add a fun and colorful element to your playdough. You can use any color of food coloring that you like, or mix colors to create new shades. Just be aware that food coloring can be messy and may stain clothing, so it’s a good idea to use an apron or old clothing when working with it.

To mix the food coloring, simply add a few drops to the boiling water and stir well. You can adjust the amount of food coloring based on how vibrant you want your playdough to be. Keep in mind that the more food coloring you use, the stronger the color will be.

Once you’ve mixed the boiling water and food coloring (if using), you’ll be ready to move on to the next step of making your homemade playdough.

Step 4

In step 4 of making homemade playdough, you’ll need to gradually add the hot water and food coloring mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well.

It’s important to add the hot water mixture gradually so that you can control the consistency of your playdough. If you add too much water at once, your playdough may become too sticky and difficult to work with. If you don’t add enough water, your playdough may be too dry and crumbly.

As you add the hot water mixture to the dry ingredients, use a spoon or spatula to mix the ingredients together. You may notice that the mixture will become more difficult to stir as it becomes thicker and stickier. Once the mixture has cooled enough to handle, you can start kneading it with your hands to help incorporate all the ingredients together.

If your playdough seems too sticky, you can add a little more flour to the mixture. If it’s too dry and crumbly, you can add a little more water. Keep in mind that it’s easier to add more flour than water, so start by adding small amounts of water at a time.

It’s important to continue kneading the playdough until it becomes smooth and pliable. If there are any lumps or bumps in the playdough, continue kneading until they are smoothed out. Once you’ve achieved the desired texture, you can store the playdough in an airtight container for future use.

And that’s it! By following these steps, you’ll be able to create your very own homemade playdough that’s fun and easy to make.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • Food coloring (optional)

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