Your search for the best, easiest play dough recipe EVER is over. With simple ingredients and 3 life-changing tricks, this recipe is the BEST!
Looking for the easiest play dough recipe ever? You have arrived.
I always joke that I have some gaping holes of knowledge.
Geography? I couldn’t tell you where half of the states are.
Parts of a car? Once on the phone with someone from Totoya, the guy asked me to check my oil dipstick, and I told him my car didn’t have one.
BUT PLAY DOUGH? I can make it with my eyes closed + I love teaching people how to make it!
Related: The other easiest activity ever? Our giant 10-foot coloring banners take 2 seconds to set up and provide hours of fun!
I have 3 life-changing tricks for making the easiest play dough recipe
I made a fresh batch of play dough every week for almost a decade.
Doing the math on it = I have made play dough HUNDREDS of times.
I have three tricks that make it fail-proof and easier than ever.
Looking for more dough activities? These are a-dough-able:
- Outer Space Play Dough Activity – Friends Art Lab
- Alphabet Play Dough Puzzle – Busy Toddler
- Homemade Modelling Clay – Mama Papa Bubba
Friends Art Lab is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about these links in my disclosure policy.
- 2.5 cups flour
- ½ cup salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup boiling water
- Coloring – optional (liquid watercolors or food coloring)
- Stand mixer with a dough hook OR bowl + large spoon
The 3 best play dough making tricks EVER
1. Using a stand mixer + dough hook: I prefer to make my play dough in a stand mixer with a dough hook because it makes it absolutely the easiest thing in the world.
QUICK PAUSE to highlight how epic a dough hook is. They’re inexpensive (usually around $10), and the amount of time they save is priceless. Your life will be forever changed once you make your play dough with a mixer & dough hook.
Do you NEED a stand mixer + dough hook? Of course not! This recipe works great with a bowl + large spoon (the mixer + hook just add an extra level of ease and speed).
2. Add the color to the water: I often see people make their dough and then knead in the color. This not only makes your dough patchy but it adds unnecessary time. If I’m making yellow play dough, I add the yellow coloring directly into my measuring cup full of boiling water and then add the colored water to the rest of the ingredients.
3. Skip the cream of tartar: I know, I know. This is shocking and sounds like absolute chaos. We haven’t used cream of tartar in 10+ years which has not only saved us approximately $8,000,000 (okay, that’s a joke, but it’s expensive!), but we also have perfect dough. Just try it once and see what you think.
A note before we begin – This recipe uses hot water. As with any kids’ activity, adult supervision is always required, and kids should never handle dangerous materials.
- Add the flour, salt, and oil into your mixer or bowl and mix.
- Add the hot, colored water.
- Leave for about a minute in the mixer with a dough hook, or mix in a bowl with a spoon and knead when ready.
If your dough is a little too dry, add small amounts of water until it’s the correct consistency.
If your dough is a little too wet, add small amounts of flour until it’s what you want.
How do you store play dough?
In the classroom, we store it in an airtight plastic container (ours is from the 90s and not linkable, but if I had to buy a new one, I’d try this airtight food container).
At home, I store it in a zippered plastic bag.
I usually keep my dough for 5-7 days and then toss it when done.
This activity uses hot, boiling water and the hot water should NEVER be handled by children. Adult supervision is required for this entire activity.
It’s about a minute of mixing total (so, so fast)
Add it during the mixing phase for sparkle and fun.
I can’t wait for you to try the easiest play dough recipe, ever
Finally typing out and sharing this recipe is such a big, exciting thing.
When you have a play dough recipe that’s easy to make, you’ll find yourself making it all of the time.