DIY Play Dough

When I was teaching preschool, being in the inner city, we didn’t have many resources for the kids. A lot of what we had were bought by us, the teachers. Well when I wanted play dough for my kids, I quickly realized that it wasn’t feasible to buy the amount that I needed without spending a small fortune. So, I decided to make my own. I figured, how hard could it really be? Not hard at all! And, if you want a fun project to do with your kids, try making play dough! It’s messy but fun for you and the little ones. I had a demo in my classroom and brought in all the materials that were needed. The kids loved making the dough and then getting to play with what they made. It was amazing to them.

That was a few years ago. Now that I have my own little one, I wanted to try this project with her. She hates getting messy so this didn’t go over well with her at all. I, on the other hand, had a blast. =)

There are 2 methods to making play dough. The cooked method and the uncooked method. Both are easy.  I personally like the uncooked method because the kids are involved in the whole process.


Cooked Play Dough:


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Food coloring (totally optional but this is what makes it fun!)


Mix the flour and salt together in a medium sized bowl.

In a saucepan, heat the water, oil and food coloring. If you have the gel food coloring, one or two squirts is enough to make a vibrant color. Heat the water and oil until it is just warm.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the water mixture. Cook over a medium heat until the flour and water mixtures are fully incorporated. It’ll look like mashed potatoes.

Take the mixture off of the heat and transfer it to a bowl to cool. Once cool, knead the dough until its smooth.

 Store in an airtight container or zip top bag.

Uncooked Play Dough:


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Food coloring (again, optional)


  • Mix flour and salt together in a bowl
  • Slowly add water and mix.
  • Add oil and a drop or 2 of food coloring.
  • Continue to mix until it starts to form a dough. (If the dough is too sticky, add more flour slowly until you get the right consistency.  If the dough is too dry, slowly add more water until it’s the right consistency.)
  • Store in an airtight container or zip top bag.

Now you’re ready to play! The best part about this play dough is that it is all natural and you know exactly what is in it! Enjoy!



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