I know I always say it but we love playdough here at Clare’s Little Tots. Its played with almost daily sometimes and the Little Tots always enjoy helping me make it. I’ve talked about the benefits of playdough before but I thought I’d do a post with our basic playdough recipe that never fails us.

no cook playdough recipe

This is a quick no cook playdough recipe and is a great one for children to help with, just make sure an adult adds the hot water.


  • 2 cups of flour
  • 4 tablespoons of cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 2 cups of boiling water



  • Mix together the flour, cream of tartar and salt in a bowl.
  • Add the oil and water and keep stirring until it all comes together.
  • Leave it in the bowl to cool and don’t worry if it looks a little gooey at this stage.
  • Once cool enough add to a dry surface and knead knead knead! This is the most important part and helps to get rid of all the stickiness.
  • Store in a airtight container or ziplock bag and it lasts for months. Keep somewhere cool, ours is usually in the fridge


Added extras:

We usually add some of the following to increase the sensory experience:

  • Colour – to colour our playdough I use a few drops of liquid or gel food colouring and add this to the hot water first to prevent it staining hands. We’ve also used paint for a deeper colour.
  • Smell – add a scent to your playdough using essential oils, dried or fresh herbs and spices, lemon juice, coffee, cocoa powder, spices, fruit juices etc
  • Texture – to add texture to your playdough try using rice, glitter, sand, salt, sequins, seeds etc
  • Glycerin is great to add a bit of shine to your play dough



Difficult to work out an exact cost when making your own paydough as you’ll probably find you have most of these things in your cupboards already but you should be able to make the above for no more than 50p, especially if you use the cheap basic flour, salt and oils etc.

summer playdough


Tinkerbell playdough


Check out our playdough archives for all our favourite playdough set ups or we have lots more ideas on our Playdough Pintrest board.

Share this post: