Easy Play Dough Recipe

I was inspired by one of my best friends last week. Beth runs a daycare out of her home, and threw a Halloween party for the kids last week. On top of fun games, goody bags and treats, she made pumpkin spiced play dough for the kids to have some Halloween themed creative play. I really have no idea how she does it all. I was so impressed with how good the play dough turned out, I had to try it for myself!

1 1/2 cups of boiling water
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of salt
2 Tbsp of cream of tartar (you can find this in the spice aisle or buy online here)
2 Tbsp of Oil (I used EVOO, but vegetable oil works too)
food coloring (optional)
pumpkin pie spice (optional)
essential oils (optional)

Step 1: Mix all of the dry ingredients together (flour, salt, cream of tartar) in a large mixing bowl
Step 2: Add oil to the dry ingredients and stir
Step 3: Add in boiling water
Step 4: Mix all ingredients really well. I used my hands when the mixture got really thick to make sure everything was mixed in. It should feel like a thick pizza dough.
Step 5 (Optional): Add in food coloring, spices and/or essential oils and mix in. Beth’s Pro Tip: Only make one color at a time – when kids mix multiple colors it turns brown.

Before I added the food coloring, I split the dough up into 5 smaller balls, which makes it easier to work in the coloring evenly. After working through the coloring I added 2 tablespoons of pumpkin spice and 10 drops of Thieves Young Living oil. It smells amazing!

Why make your own play dough? Here are a few reasons:

  • If you have multiple kids, or run a daycare like Beth, this allows for each kid to have a lot of dough to play with (without breaking the bank)
  • In my opinion, play dough can get gross after awhile (crumbs, pet hair, etc. stick to it) so you won’t feel as bad when you have to throw it away. 
  • It’s cost effective. Once you have all of the ingredients, you can make several batches.
  • You can be creative with colors and scents by adding spices and essential oils. Lavender is a good essential oil to add for calming. And I can’t wait to make mint color play dough with Peppermint oil for the holidays!
I found the cute little tupperware cups at Marshall’s (pictured above), which hold the perfect amount for a play dough play session. The dough usually lasts up to a month and may keep longer when kept in the fridge. 
Have you made play dough before? If so, how did it turn out? what are some other DIY things you make for kids creative play?

*This post contains affiliate links

7 thoughts on “Easy Play Dough Recipe

  1. Thanks for this play dough recipe! I am going to make a batch for when my Granddaughter Violet comes at Christmastime. (Maybe I'll try a \”spice & orange\” scent for the holiday.

Leave a Reply