Need to Keep Your Toddlers Busy? This Homemade Playdough Offers Endless Possibilities

Making homemade playdough is one of our all-time favorite indoor activities.

It only takes a few ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and can be fun for a wide range of ages–basically anywhere from about 12-18 months to 5-6 years old, depending on how involved you want your kiddos to be. It takes about five minutes to come together, and if stored in an airtight container or plastic zipper bag, it will stay fresh for months!

Once it’s made, a rolling pin, some cookie cutters, and a flat, protected surface will keep them entertained for hours. Manipulating dough and clay is a great fine motor exercise for little hands—it helps to develop strength, coordination, and dexterity. As your kids get more adept at using playdough and tools, you can try different activities: using dough to make letters or numbers, creating vessels like bowls or vases, and even adding things like scents or glitter to the dough to create different sensory experiences. 

When your kids are young, always make sure to supervise new activities to prevent excess consumption or other issues (and in this case, watch your pets too!).



Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (coconut oil works too)
  • food coloring (optional)
  • glitter (optional)
  • large, freezer plastic zipper bags to add coloring 



Here’s What to Do:

  1. Add the flour, salt, and cream of tartar to a large pot over medium heat. 
  2. Add in water and oil and begin to stir consistently until dough begins to form. It might take a few minutes to pull away from the sides and form into a ball, but keep at it! 
  3. Once the playdough ball forms, remove it from the heat and wait until it’s cool enough to handle. 
  4. Divide the dough into the number of colors you want to make and place each ball in a separate plastic bag with several drops of food coloring and/or glitter. The more food coloring you add, the deeper the coloring will be. 
  5. Knead the dough while it’s inside the bag (this is a great part to let the kids help with) so the coloring doesn’t get on anyone’s hands. 
  6. Once the coloring is all mixed in, you’re ready to play!

Store the play dough in the same bags for up to several months. 


Shop our favorite playdough accessories below!

Read More: The One Activity That Keeps My Toddler Busy for Hours While I Work From Home