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The Best Homemade Play Dough Recipe

May 8, 2020

Makes 3 ½ cups 

Recipe by our favorite 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Gilbert

We were given this play dough recipe by my oldest daughter’s 4th grade teacher.  She had a brilliant idea for the kids to make it as a way to learn about fractions.  It certainly did the trick! My daughter loved making and playing with the play dough! And it made learning fractions a whole (pun intended!) a lot more fun! 

Thank you, Mrs. Gilbert, for such a creative and memorable lesson and a great recipe!

Here’s what you need

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup salt 

2 ½ teaspoons cream of tarter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 cups cold water

Food coloring in various colors

Here’s what you do

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, and cream of tarter).  Then add the oil and slowly add the water.
  2. Cook uncovered over medium heat, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the dough is the consistency of mashed potatoes.  
  3. Divide the dough into four equal parts.  It should have a soft, smooth texture.  I put the dough on an oversized cutting board and it made clean up a breeze.  
  4. Add approximately 6-8 drops of food coloring to each portion, kneading the color into the dough for even distribution.
  5. Store each play dough separately in a resealable bag or use airtight containers.


All of my girls had the best playing with it and my oldest even made a geode that she cut open to show all the different colors.  The possibilities are endless!