Featured Kids Pinspiration

Playdough – 6 Ways

Picture 011
Written by Jen Sill

Before there was Pinterest, I would check out books from the library.  (Sorry, Mom.  She’s a librarian and I’m sure it pains her to hear that Pinterest has me checking out fewer books.)

BUT, I have a favorite.  Called “The Toddler’s Busy Book” by Trish Kuffner.  It is Pinterest without the cool pictures.  This week, I opened it back up for an old favorite: Playdough.  Scroll to the bottom of this article for six different recipes.  If you don’t see yours, add it!!

Here’s the one we used this time:

Salt Playdough


1 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup salt
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar
Food coloring
1 cup flour


Combine water, oil, salt, cream of tartar and food coloring in a saucepan and heat until warm.
Remove from heat and add four.
Stir, then knead until smooth.

**The cream of tartar makes this dough last 6 months or longer.
**Store in an airtight container or Ziploc freezer bag

Here are some photos of our fun and tips I learned along the way:


The salt does not dissolve. There will be oil floating on top of the water. Don’t worry.


A toddler can add all of the ingredients to the pan. No worries.

You’ll want to use at least 4 drops of food coloring. Otherwise, the color doesn’t show up very well. Whatever the color of the water before the flour will be your final color.


Once all of the liquid is absorbed in the flour, I put it in a Ziploc. That way I can kneed the dough while it is hot. (It also cuts down on the mess.) Just be sure to let it cool fully with the Ziploc open to let steam escape.


Once cooled, let the kiddos play!!


We like to use Mr. Potato Head pieces to make funny figures. :)


Other great playdough recipes

(Just check the list for what you have on hand when you’re having ‘one of those days’ and you just need SOMETHING for the kiddos to do!!)

Oatmeal Playdough

1 part flour
1 part water
2 parts oatmeal

Combine all ingredients in a bowl; mix well and knead until smooth.

**This playdough is not intended to be eaten, but it will not hurt a child who decides to taste it.
**Store covered in refrigerator
**This does not last as long a cooked playdough


Uncooked Playdough

1 cup cold water
1 cup salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Tempera paint or food coloring
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch

In bowl, mix water, salt, oil, and enough tempera paint or food coloring to make a bright color.
Gradually add flour and cornstarch until mixture reaches the consistency of bread dough.

**Store covered

Peanut Butter Playdough

2 cups peanut butter
6 tablespoons honey
Nonfat dry milk or milk plus flour
Cocoa or carob for chocolate flavor (optional)
Edible treats for decoration

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix, adding enough dry milk or milk plus flour to reach the consistency of bread dough.
Add cocoa or carob, if desired.

**Shape and eat!  Do not store for more than a week.

Salt Playdough

1 cup salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup flour (plus some additional)

Mix salt, water and flour in saucepan and cook over medium heat.
Remove from heat when mixture is thick and rubbery.
As mixture cools, knead in enough flour to make the dough workable.

Kool-Aid Playdough

1/2 cup salt
2 cups water
Food coloring, tempera powder or Kool-Aid powder for color
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups sifted flour
2 tablespoons alum

Combine salt and water in saucepan and boil until salt dissolves.  Remove from heat and tint with food coloring, tempera powder or Kool-Aid.
Add oil, flour and alum.
Knead until smooth.

**This dough will last 2 months or longer.

What’s your favorite recipe for playdough?  Why do you like it?

About the author

Jen Sill

For nearly 15 years Jennifer spent her time clawing her way up the chain as a television producer and newsroom manager. She's helped create and produce newscasts and talkshows. Just as she was realizing some of her professional goals, she decided to give it all up for a family. Although Jennifer has lived in Miami and L.A., she has always called Nebraska home. She always knew she wanted to raise her children in the Midwest.
Jennifer is now trying to find her way in a new world. She may be frenzied and frazzled sometimes, but she would not give up being a mom to her almost four year old and her almost two year old for anything.

  • http://www.ellabbella.com Leslie

    ha ha! love this, Jen! And those little fingers are so cute!

    • Jennie

      I can’t resist them!! :)

    • Jennie

      Leslie, what fun games have you played for a one-year-old birthday party?
      (Jessica asked below.)

  • Jessica

    Love this! I have yet to make home made play dough with bailey and can’t wait to try some of these out! I think I might try the edible one for Chloe’s first birthday party. And fun games for a one year olds birthday party?

  • http://www.ellabbella.com Leslie

    Hi Jessica,

    Do you have any older kids at the b-day party or will it be mostly toddlers? My sister just threw a party for her 1 and 3 year old. So cute. She did a princess/pirate party and we all dressed up etc. Obviously there were more adults there than kids – but the kids loved the costumes. I’ll post details tomorrow!