Best Ever Homemade Play Dough Recipe

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We’ve been using The Buffalo Museum of Science’s Homemade Play-dough recipe for a couple of years now.  In my opinion, this is the BEST dough for kids to play with (although I also love Crayola Model Magic as an alternative!).

Here’s how to make the best play dough ever:

Combine 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, and 2 tsp. cream of tartar in a saucepan.  Gradually stir in 1 cup of water mixed with 2 Tbsp oil and 1 tsp. of food coloring.  Cook over medium to high heat, constantly stirring until a ball forms. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Finally, knead with your hands until smooth. If desired, add a few drops of essential oil while kneading.  Store the dough at room temperature in a plastic bag, and it should last for weeks.

To note, I didn’t add the food coloring to the dough while I was cooking it.  Instead, I put on plastic gloves and broke off smaller hunks, adding food coloring and then kneading it.  It helped get the right consistency as the mixture is more like mashed potatoes when you remove it from the heat.  The kneading is VERY important, and I figured I would add the color at that point.  Plus, it is nice to have different colors. 😊

It looks like mashed potatoes before kneading.

Fun colors!

My child loved to stick all sorts of objects in the dough.

I love storing things in my Tupperware! 

5 from 1 vote

Best Play Dough Ever

Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Crafts
Keyword: play dough
Yield: 2 cups
Cost: $1


  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp food coloring (optional)
  • 3 to 4 drops essential oil (optional)


  • Combine flour, salt and cream of tartar in a saucepan.
  • Mix water, oil, and food coloring in a glass measuring cup.
  • Gradually stir in water mixture with flour.
  • Cook over medium to high heat, stirring constantly until a ball forms.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  • Knead with your hands until dough is smooth.
  • If desired, add a few drops of essential oil while kneading.
  • Store at room temperature in a plastic bag.
This is hands down the best homemade play dough and it is so easy to make!  It can be stored for weeks in an airtight container or plastic bag.  Your kids will enjoy molding fun shapes and other designs with this great dough!  And you can make a variety of colors and scents.  #craftymom #craft #crafts #playdough #kidscrafts #thingstodo #ruffledmom

Thank you for sharing!

1 thought on “Best Ever Homemade Play Dough Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    This dough really came out great! It was easy to make and my child loved molding it. Adding essential oil made it smell better too (not like pasty flour). It was a wonderful recipe to make – thank you for sharing it!

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