Our best play dough recipe plus 7 fun makes

There’s something weirdly therapeutic about kneeding this squashy substance into shapes that makes it irresistible to join the little ones and release your inner creativity.

In fact, play dough has more-or-less become the resident therapist in the toy kingdom, since playing with this de-stressing dough has proven so relaxing for both kids and grown ups alike.

Never before have we heard such a guilt-free excuse to skip yoga and play with the kids instead.

So don the apron and cook up a treat for all the family with this quick and easy play dough recipe. Don’t be afraid to get creative with the colouring; you could even make a couple of different coloured batches for optimum playtime productivity!

We recommend using a gel food colouring, since it gives you a richer colour than ordinary food colourings. When you’re done, just pop it into a sealable bag or airtight container and play. Just make sure you remember to let the kids join in…

Basic Play Dough Recipe

You will need

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • Food colouring
  • Large saucepan
  • Spoon

How to make

Step one
Add the flour, salt, cream oftartar and vegetable oil to the saucepan.

Step two
Add some food colouring to a cup of water, then pour into the saucepan.

Step three
Stir over a medium heat, until the mixture becomes a sticky, combined dough. Allow it to cool.

Step four
Remove the dough from the saucepan and knead into a smooth ball of play dough.

Now that you’ve made, rolled, squished or cut it, you may be wondering what else there is do with your play dough.

Fear not, we’re bringing the excitement back to dough! These fun activities and recipe tweaks should keep your little ones occupied.

1. Make play dough wands


Every fairy princess needs a wand and what better to make it from than play dough? That way you can reshape it and remake it any way you like, to go with every outfit, of course.
Make it: Play dough wands

2. Turn play dough into a galaxy!


Little explorers will love this simple way to learn about the stars. Great if your kids have friends round, to keep them out of trouble for a little while.
Make it: Play dough planets

3. Transform toys with play dough


We love giving old toys a new lease of life and play dough is a simple solution to making pre-loved play things appealing again. Your little one will love seeing how wacky an outfit they can give that old Lego man.
Make it: Play dough toys

4. Squash it into some stress balls (which you can use later!)

Make it: Play dough stress balls

5. Use play dough to teach fine motor skills


Somehow our kids’ crafting never seems to look like those ones you see on Pinterest. There’s definitely a lot more mess involved. We’ve found the best way to combat the strain of this is to sneakily have them make you a stress ball during one of their creative sessions.
Make it: Play dough bridges

6. Make a wild jungle for toy animals to roam in


Play dough makes a great mat for all kind of scenarios. This jungle one is perfect for toy animals but you could make one that features street and gardens to use toy cars on – their imagination is the limit.
Make it: Play dough jungle

7. Give tutti fruitti play dough a go


Kids love this colourful play dough and the addition of fruity smells makes it even more fun. It’s also a great way to talk about shape, smells and textures with little ones, to refine their motor skills from a young age.
Make it: Fruit play dough

Apester Lazyload