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How To Make Playdough

Playdough is the age-old go-to for hours of endless fun for kids of all ages at home.

There are countless ways to get creative with playdough and there are heaps of learning benefits for your child too. Playing with playdough helps to improve fine motor skills and, in addition to this it is a very calming sensory activity.

Making the dough from scratch is super simple and best of all the ingredients are more than likely already stored in your pantry!


  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 tbs cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 3 drops liquid food colouring


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized saucepan.
  2. Stir over a low heat. The dough will begin to thicken until it resembles mashed potatoes.
  3. When the dough pulls away from the sides and clumps in the center, remove the pan from heat and allow the dough to cool enough to handle.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a clean bench space and knead until it becomes smooth. 
  5. Divide the dough into balls for colouring.
  6. Add 3 drops of the food colouring of your choice to each ball of dough.
  7. Work the food dye all the way through the dough, adding more as desired to achieve your chosen colour.
  8. In order to keep your playdough soft it’s important that you store the mixture in an airtight container or re-use some jars you have lying around the house.
  9. Add googly eyes, sequins or buttons to your playdough creations to make animals or scary monsters. You can always use molds or cookie cutters to make whatever shapes you like.

And last but not least, it’s time for the little ones to play and let their imaginations run wild!

Here are some fun ideas to get you started:

  1. Open a playdough bakery
  2. Play dough dress up
  3. Cut playdough snakes—a great first activity for introducing the art of playdough to toddlers 
  4. Create a playdough themed jungle with some props from the garden
  5. Decorate the playdough with googly eyes and accessories to make your child’s favourite animals for a DIY zoo