Homemade Playdough {DIY Tutorial}

When we were planning our activities out for Valentine’s Day I wanted to do something special with the kids, just me and them. Now, we do special things together almost every day but I wanted to find a special time to focus solely on them without thinking about what we needed to do next (or what I needed to work on). And since I’ve been pinning crafts to do with them for a while now I thought it’d be a great time to try out a pin.

So after we hosted a super fun Valentine’s Day party with our playgroup I put the kids to bed and got out the ingredients for playdough. I found the “recipe” on one of my favorite blogs, How Does She?, and loved how easy the project sounded so I got to work. It took me all of 5 minutes to take the ingredients out, snap some photos and pre-measure everything. And once the kids woke up we were ready to get our DIY on!

Homemade Playdough

What you’ll need: 

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • food coloring
  • medium pot
  • wax paper

What you do:

1. Grab a medium pot and pre-measure all of the ingredients except the food coloring (if you’re including a little helper into the mix).

2. Let your little helper dump all of the ingredients into the pot except the food coloring (look at that concentration!).

3. Stir, stir, stir until combined.

4. Now it’s time for the adult to take over (unless your child is old enough to use the stove). Place pot on stove and set heat to medium and add food coloring (as many or as little drops as you’d like to get the color your going for).

5. Stir the mixture until it starts to form a ball.

6. Once the mixture forms into a non-sticky ball, dump it out onto wax paper and let cool.

7. Once the playdough has cooled a bit start kneading the dough a few times until there is a smooth and soft consistency. You can let your helper take over this part for you if the dough has cooled down enough.

8. Re-form into a ball and give it to the kids to enjoy! How easy was that?

The playdough lasts quite a while when stored in an air tight container. I love that Missy over at How Does She? repurposed baby food containers to store her playdough so I grabbed some containers I had in the tupperware cupboard that weren’t being used and use them. Little hummus or pizza sauce containers seemed to be the best size and held the full batch of playdough perfectly.

Also… if you want your playdough to smell wonderful too I’ve heard that using kool aid as food coloring not only makes pretty colors but leaves great scents too. Cinnamon will do the trick as well but you still have to add the food coloring. And if you’re really wanting to spice things up you can add glitter to the dough to add some sparkle while you’re kneading.

Molly had a lot of fun playing with the dough once it was ready. She tried to eat it at first…

Then decided it was a phone and she called Daddy…

Then she just played with it in her fingers and squeezed it a bit before trying to share with me…

What a great afternoon treat! And the perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day with my little valentines.

Do you have an awesome DIY project that would work great for kids? I’d love to hear them! We’re always looking for awesome things to do together and to incorporate with our Tot School.

Pinterest Inspiration


  1. GREAT tutorial! Thanks for all the pics!

  2. good tutorial. have you made this more than once? or, did ethan just wake-up early? i have been meaning to make it for p.

  3. Mel – I’ve made it twice now. Once in green and once in pink (green was this weekend while E napped and pink was yesterday afternoon and I let him do it all).

  4. Awesome tutorial! I love your little models, they’re such cuties! I really want to try to make this sometime with my son. We go through playdough like crazy.

  5. Fun activities! Great idea to get the kids involved for V-day!!

  6. I would love to try this with my boy!! Thank you for the great tutorial and pics. I pinned it so I can come back this weekend!!

  7. aww- memories! i used to make home made playdough all the time- then i started making colored cookie dough! (no eggs) lol
    i was SUCH a popular babysitter !
    marie h

  8. East9thStreet says

    I keep seeing these tutorials and just need to break down and buy the cream of tartar so I can do it! Thanks for the kick in the butt!

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