Does your kiddo love crafting with play dough? Save money and have some fun by making your own crafting play dough, together, at home! There are so many versions to try – from scented to textured to edible, there’s the perfect play dough recipe for every crafty kiddo. Follow our easy instructions below and give it a go today!

 

  1. Traditional Dough

Ingredients:

1 Cup water

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

½ Cup salt

1 Tbsp. cream of tartar

1 Cup flour

Food coloring

 

In a medium-sized saucepan, mix the water, oil, salt, cream of tartar, and a few drops of food coloring. Stir over medium heat until the mixture is warm and the salt is mostly dissolved, then remove from heat and blend in the flour. The better the flour is blended, the smoother the dough will be, so take your time. Then drop the mixture onto a sheet of wax paper and knead until smooth and soft. Now sculpt! This batch will last for several weeks, if not months. If it begins to dry or crumble, mix in a few drops of vegetable oil.

 

Adding texture to your dough creates the perfect substance for tactile play. To make a textured dough, follow these Traditional Dough instructions, adding glitter, sea salt, or even sand to the saucepan before mixing with flour.

 

2. Scented Dough

Ingredients:

1 Cup water

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

½ Cup salt

1 Packet KOOL-AID in the scent you want

2 Tsp. cream of tartar

1 Cup flour

This version uses KOOL-AID to add color and scent to traditional dough. Whisk together the flour, salt, KOOL-AID, and cream of tartar in a saucepan, then mix in the water and oil. Heat over medium for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture will start out really runny, but will begin to clump as it heats up. When the dough is mostly stuck together, dump the mixture onto a sheet of wax paper. Allow it to cool, then knead, play, and sniff your scented dough!

3. Textured Dough – Silky Smooth

Ingredients:

1 Cup hair conditioner or hand lotion

2 Cups corn starch

Food coloring

 

 

This simple, 3-ingredient recipe is totally kid-friendly – no heating on the stove! Pour the lotion into a bowl and mix in a few drops of food coloring. Next, blend in the corn starch with a little at a time,  adding more corn starch until the mixture is silky smooth and not at all sticky. You may have to play with the ratios, adding more lotion to make the mixture less crumbly and then more starch to be less sticky, but this super soft, super smooth dough is worth the trouble. Added bonus – your hands will be silky soft after every session!

 

4. Edible Dough

Ingredients:

1 Bag large marshmallows

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 Cup cornstarch

Food coloring

 

 

Technically, all of the recipes we’ve shared so far are edible, they just might not taste very good. Made with marshmallows, this recipe is not only edible – it’s delicious! Don’t let the corn starch fool you – when finished, this dough tastes just like taffy. In a pan, warm your oil over medium heat. Add about 30 large marshmallows, stirring until they’re completely dissolved. Add a few drops of food coloring, then move the mixture to a bowl. Quickly add the cornstarch and knead until soft. If the mixture still feels sticky, knead a bit more corn starch in until it’s smooth. This may take a bit of back and forth work – knead, corn starch, knead, corn starch. But once you’ve got the consistency just right, it’s time to play – or eat!

Homemade dough is perfect for sensory play. Roll it, knead it, sculpt it, cut it with scissors, use it with cookie cutters… the options are endless! Store your dough in a zipper bag or airtight container and, with the exception of the edible dough, it should last several weeks, if not months.