My Favorite Play Dough



  • 1 c. flour
  • 2 t. cream of tartar
  • 1 T. oil
  • 7/8 c. water with a few drops of food coloring
  • ½ c. salt


Combine all ingredients and stir over medium heat until mixture forms ball and leaves sides of pan. Pour onto waxed paper and knead until smooth.  Keep in Ziploc bag.  This Play Dough takes just minutes to make, has a super consistency and kids love working with it.

[Thanks to my friend Lis Barker who used to run the Preschool at Southern Utah University for this great recipe!]


This dough will dry to a hard, plastic-like consistency.  You can make beads, animals, paperweights, or any other treasure that you want to last.


  • ¼ c white glue
  • ¼ c water
  • 10 drops food coloring of your choice
  • ¼ c flour
  • 1 c cornstarch


  1. Cover the work area with waxed paper or a plastic tablecloth.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the glue, water, and food coloring.
  3. Mix the flour and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Then add to the wet mixture and mix until a stiff dough forms. (If you live in a humid climate, you may need to use less cornstarch.)
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface for 1 minute.
  5. Mold the dough into shapes. If the dough becomes too dry, wet your hands. When you are finished with your creation, let it finish air-drying until thoroughly dry and hard. Drying time varies according to the size and thickness of the object.
[Plastic Play Dough recipe by Sherry Timberman, from the 1/06 Friend magazine]

About the Author:

Rachel is the co-author of Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning and the audio series Core and Love of Learning: A Recipe for Success, and the author of the award-winning educational resource, This Week in History. She is an accomplished musician, writer, literary editor, public speaker, consultant and momschool organizer.


  1. Kimberly April 21, 2011 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Thanks for these recipes. I have been looking for a way to make my own play dough for about a month now. Nothing I’ve tried works that well. Can’t wait to try this.

    • Rachel DeMille April 22, 2011 at 6:13 am - Reply

      It works best with a thick cast-iron pan or heavy steel pan, like a pressure cooker or something like that, so that it heats evenly and cleans up simply. It happens really fast once you start stirring, so it can be lumpy if you’re not careful. But those lumps completely disappear with a moment’s kneading. As long as you 1) don’t burn it and 2) cook it to thickened consistency, you really can’t go wrong! email me if you have any questions (you can use the contact form on the top navigation tabs).

      xoxo rd

  2. Kimberly April 28, 2011 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    Ok so I took the plunge and made some yellow. I can honestly say this is the easiest and fastest play dough I have ever made and it wasn’t all lumpy and nasty. Can’t wait to make more.


  3. yancy May 13, 2011 at 3:07 am - Reply

    Thank you for recipe. I can’t wait to try it!

  4. yancy June 15, 2011 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    I tried the play dough recipe and my daughter loves it– so we have shared the recipe with other friends and they love it! Thank you! We have done every color imaginable– we love it.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.