Friday, 11 February 2011

Homemade Playdough.

In my before baby life I was a nursery manager and spent 15 years looking after children.

Over the years I have made a million batches of playdough, I thought I'd be generous and share my perfected recipe with you. There will never be any need for you to buy playdough again.

This playdough is cooked which in my opinion means it lasts longer than uncooked, simply keep in an airtight container.

1 Cup of Flour
1 Cup of Water
1/2 Cup of Salt
1 teaspoon of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon of oil
Food Colouring
Vanilla Essence

The key tips are these...

  • Add the colouring to the water before you pour it in to the bowl, this stops it staining your hands and spreads the colour through the dough. 
  • Cream of Tartar is necessary it helps with elasticity, don't be tempted to leave it out.
  • Vanilla Essence is a special addition that can be left out but adding it makes the dough smell like shop brought.
The preparation is easy just chuck it all into the bowl adding the water/colouring last, stir well and pour into the saucepan.

Using a medium heat cook it like scrambled eggs, scraping the bottom and sides away as they harden. It gets hard work towards the end but keep it moving. 

As it starts to look like a big ball of dough take a little bit off and roll into a ball in your hands (careful it is hot!) Check the stickiness is gone, if your hands come away clean its ready.

Leave it to cool and then let the kids at it.

You could also add things like glitter or lentils to give it a more varied texture and look.


  1. That looks really good, will try a batch with my son over half term as we are way overdue for a squelchy afternoon!

    Another thing you can add rather than vanilla essence is essential oils e.g. vanilla.

  2. Yes anything non toxic is fine, I do love Vanilla.

    Reminds me of cakes, yum yum!

  3. I've had a go at making playdough once but wished I'd done more colours. Great tip about the colouring and love the addition on vanilla.

  4. Naomielizabethcraig11 February 2011 at 19:50

    I use the exact same receipe but instead of putting it in the saucapan I add the water boiling from the kettle takes about 1 min to mix it all up and turns out fab!! xx

  5. Oooh what a good idea i might try that out!

    Saves the saucepan needing to be washed up!


  6. Thanks for rthis. Would you like to guest post it on bab budgeting. My readers love tuff like this? Becky (at) babybudgeting (dot)

  7. Yes of course I would be chuffed to! I'll email you tomorrow. x

  8. I was so excited when I saw this my mum used to always make homemade playdoh but it was my nans recipe and she chucked it out years ago and have never found the right one before but this looks like it! So going to make some for Baba very soon thanks xx

  9. Aw, I hope it is the same one. Glad I've bridged the generation gap. x