easy homemade play dough

Whenever we’re stuck inside for an extended period of time, we end up pulling out the Play Doh. It’s quick, it’s easy, it requires minimal supervision (so I can run around cleaning up the last mess that was created while they make a brand new one), and it’s not too terrible to clean up (once it dries a little the vacuum does the trick).

The problem? The stuff dries out. Which means sometimes, when momma’s in a pinch, it just won’t do. So we decided to make homemade play dough.

easy homemade play dough

I poked around on Pinterest a little and decided to adapt this recipe from How Does She, which promised perfect, squishy play dough. Here’s what we used:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 4 teaspoons of cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Food coloring (we used a lot because we were going for a deep, dark galaxy purple)
  • As much glitter as you want (again, we went in the go big or go home direction)
  • A couple of drops of essential oil if you want it to smell delicious (peppermint or vanilla would be nice)

The steps for this couldn’t be easier. You just dump all of the ingredients (minus the glitter) into a medium-sized pot and stir. Then, you put the pot on the stove over medium heat and keep stirring until you’ve got a nice doughy clump.

making homemade play doughThe kids absolutely love helping to make it, so try to let them get in on it. My two year old helped pour in the ingredients and stir them around before the pot went on the stove and my seven year old supervised the pot while the dough was cooking.

Once it’s ready, remove it from the stove and plop the dough onto your counter top. Let it cool if need be and then knead it until it’s nice and soft and squishy. That’s when we decided to add the glitter.

glittery homemade play doughI flattened it out and let my daughter sprinkle glitter all over it. Then, I folded it back into a big ball and kneaded it some more to help spread out the glitter.

My husband, who doesn’t like leaving a glitter trail as much as the girls and I do, was more than a little concerned that there would be glitter everywhere when we were done. I shushed him away and acted like he was talking crazy talk while secretly hoping that I was right.

I’m happy to say that most of the glitter stayed put. I would be a big fat liar if I pretended that all of it did, but I rolled the dough over any pieces that were left on the counter when the girls were done and that was that.

homemade play dough cookiesI can’t vouch for how long this play dough lasts just yet, but I will definitely report back to let you know how it holds up. We stored ours in some tupperware to try and keep it fresh for as long as possible. Either way, we had a ton of fun making it and then playing bakery once it was cool enough to play with.

We turned on the Frozen soundtrack and broke out the cookie cutters, silicone cupcake liners, measuring cups and spoons, some Play Doh molds and a cake making station the girls have.

homemade play dough funVERDICT: Success! We had a lot of fun, there were no tears and the play dough was soft and squishy. Samantha loved it so much that she wants to make a batch to give to all of her classmates for the holidays.

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.