No-Cook Homemade Play Dough Recipe

by Beth Montgomery on February 29, 2012 · 4 comments

in Crafts for Kids, Do It Yourself, Frugal Living

Play dough is often pretty cheap, but making your own is so much fun. Not only do your kids get to do most of the work and get a bit messy, but they can also practicing mixing colors to see what they’ll get and create colors of play dough they can’t buy at the store.

It’s easy and you probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry.

What You Need

  1. 1/4 Cup All-Purpose or Bread Flour
  2. 1/4 Cup Salt
  3. 1/4 Cup Ice-Cold Water
  4. 1/4 TBSP Oil
  5. Food or Gel Coloring (optional)
  6. 1 Sandwich-Size Plastic Baggie
  7. 1 Kid

Let’s Get Started!

You don’t even need a bowl. Just pour all of your ingredients into a small sandwich-size baggie. If you add the flour first, it typically makes it bottom heavy. That makes it a lot easier for kids to pour in the remaining ingredients, without tipping the bag over.

If you want multiple colors of play dough, make multiple bags, by repeating.

Next, add in colors. Food coloring may water down the play dough a bit, but that can be easily fixed later. Gel food coloring, often found in the baking aisle, doesn’t water the mixture down.

This is my kids favorite part, since they can put in a few drops of different colors to find out what color they make together, but you may want to help them, or they might end up with all brown in the end.

Next, press out the air and seal the baggie tight. Lay it on a table and start smooshing! Smoosh the play dough in the bag until it’s well mixed. If it sticks to the sides of the bag, add a bit more flour one teaspoon at a time until the mixture is less sticky.

If, on the other hand, the mixture is flakey, add water one teaspoon at a time, mixing in between, until the mixture sticks together without flaking apart.

Sometimes, mixing in the baggie can be hard, but it is less messy. If you’d prefer, after making sure the dough is not overly sticky, you may move to the table. It’s a bit easier, but can be messier.

Lightly coat an area of the table or counter top with flour. Once the mixture is no longer sticking, pull it out of the bag and continue to knead on the table until it forms a smooth ball.

Once you’re done, start playing! And, if you have very little ones, it won’t even hurt them if they decide to take a bite (or eat an entire ball).

Keep the dough refrigerated in the baggies when not in use. You may need to work it a bit to make it more malleable, each time you remove it and play.

Print this Recipe

No-Cook Homemade Play Dough Recipe
Recipe Type: Crafts for Kids
Author: Beth Montgomery
Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: 5 mins
Serves: 1
Making your own play dough can save money, but also get your colors you can’t buy in the store and entertain your kids for hours.
Ingredients
  • 1/4 Cup Bread or All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Ice-Cold Water
  • 1/4 TBSP Oil
  • 1 Sandwich-Size Plastic Baggie
  • Food Coloring or Gel Coloring (Optional)
Instructions
  1. Drop all of the ingredients into the plastic baggie. Make more than one, by repeating this recipe.
  2. For color, add about 6 or more drops of food coloring or gel.
  3. Seal the baggie tightly, but make sure to squeeze out all the air, so you don’t pop it first.
  4. Knead the dough inside the baggie until well formed.
  5. If it’s sticking to the side, add flour one teaspoon at a time and knead until well formed.
  6. If it’s flaking apart, add ice-cold water one teaspoon at a time until well formed.
  7. Play!
Notes

If your kids are older and aren’t in danger of eating the play dough, try baby oil in place of the oil in this recipe. It will make the play dough scented, especially if you use the lavender scented.

If kneading in the bag is too hard, once the dough is not sticky, you may move to a lightly floured tabletop or countertop.

Craving more? Browse the recipe index for more easy recipes.

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{ 4 comments }

1 Lesa @Edesia's Notebook February 29, 2012 at 7:54 AM

How do you measure out 1/4 of a tbsp? I’ve never in my life seen a spoon with that measurement. Are you sure it isn’t supposed to be 1/4 of a tsp instead?

Thanks!

2 Beth February 29, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Lesa, no, it’s really 1/4th of a Tablespoon. I simply fill my 1/2 tablespoon half way, since half of a half is a forth. The measurement doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s just to make the play dough a bit less sticky.

3 Debbie March 1, 2012 at 5:07 PM

You can also use “unsweetened” Kool-aid packages to add color and fragrance, too!

4 Beth March 2, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Great tip, Debbie. Thanks!

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