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Easy No-Cook Playdough Recipe

This no cook playdough recipe will give you perfect soft play dough every time and if stored correctly can easily last up to 6-8 months. This can keep kids busy for hours using their imaginations and is a fabulous school holiday activity.

I'm still surprised how many people still purchase play dough when it is so simple to make and is better quality and longer lasting when made at home. I've been using this method for the past 10 years and it never fails me.

Not only does this reduce packaging but you can also use up any over the date oil and flour than are no longer suitable for cooking, and it makes a fabulous zero waste gift for kids of all ages.

Playdough macaroons and cupcakes


1 Cup of Plain Flour

1/2 Cup of Salt

2 tbsps. of Cream of Tartar

1 tbsp. of Cooking oil

1 Cup of Boiling Water

Food colouring

(You can halve or double the ingredients depending on the quantity you want to make)


1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl or jug EXCEPT hot water and colour. The kids can help measure and mix, but the next steps are best done by grownups

2. Pour the hot water into a jug to add the colour. This helps to get an even colour throughout. Keep in mind that the colour of the water will be much stronger than the resulting play dough. You can always add more colour during mixing if you feel it's not quite right.

3. Add the water and stir. I usually use a butter knife to stir as its easier to wipe off than spoons.

4. Once it is all starting to stick together and looks like dough, tip onto the kitchen counter and knead briefly. Be careful, as the playdough will still be hot in the centre.

If you find it is still too sticky, simply add a little more flour and knead through.

5. Wait about ten minutes until it cools enough for Little hands to play with.

To ensure it lasts, and to prevent it drying out, store in a closed container when not in use. If it does happen to get left out over night, knead it and place into the storage container and you can add a few drops of cooking oil to it if it's too dry.

Rainbow playdough cake

We made rainbow colours this time (unfortunately the pics aren't fabulous as we got too immersed in playing and I just took a few quick snaps).

Food colouring usually comes in blue, red, yellow, green and pink. For pastel colours just use a little, and for bold colours go heavy-handed.

For other colours try these combinations:

Purple = 3 parts red + 1 part blue

Orange =1 part red + 2 parts yellow

Aqua = 4 parts blue + 2 parts green

Lime = 3 parts yellow + 1 part green

Dark green = 1 part red + 1 part yellow + 4 parts blue

For playing, you don't honestly do not need any special stuff and in my experience half of the branded items don't function too well and are a bit disappointing. Raid your kitchen for items such as cutlery, muffin trays, chocolate moulds, cookie and sandwich cutters, potato mashers, Rolling pins, OR head to your nearest opshop which is likely full of kitchen items.

Making Playdough shapes

You can also use tea sets and toy kitchen items. Kids will invent their own games and come up with ideas pretty fast. This time we did macaroons, cupcakes, star cookies and other random things so I got out some of our silver serving dishes and we had a little cake cafe. Other times we have created people and animals, made a volcano with orange lava, created a beach scene and made silly faces using rocks, pipe cleaners and bottle caps.

Playdough Cake Cafe

What's your favourite thing to make with playdough?



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