Fail-proof, No-cook Play Dough Recipe


I used to be a staunch believer that play dough had to be cooked on the stove for the best results. I had tried several no-cook recipes and they never lasted as long as our cooked version did, and always seemed to get sticky with more play. (Ick.)

However, after having to scrap burnt play dough bits off of a pan one time too many, I decided to just play around and see if I could turn my cooked version into a no-cook play dough recipe with some simple tweaks.

Fail-proof no cook play dough recipe

My favourite part about doing a no-cook recipe is that the kids can help with most stages of the preparation process.

Making Homemade Play Dough in the Kids Kitchen: Let Kids Help

Have the kids measure out the dry ingredients, and stir to incorporate:

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup salt.

Great tip: add the scent and oil to the boiled water when making homemade play dough to help make it smoother and incorporate the oil easier.

Meanwhile, boil 2 cups of water and add 2 tablespoons of an oil to the measuring cup holding the water — this helps get the oil incorporated easier, which makes for a smoother dough. If you are adding liquid scent or colouring, add that as well.

I tend to take over for a bit when adding the boiling water, at least until it is mixed in and there is no chance of it splashing onto their skin as they stir.

Let kids help make homemade play dough - an amazing play recipe with great sensory benefits!

After the dough is fully stirred, turn it out onto a clean surface and knead it. I love the warmth of the dough at this stage, but it could be a bit much for a very sensitive child. (I find it cooler than kneading our cooked dough.)

If you are using gel food colouring, add it at this point and knead through. (You can add it to the liquid measuring cup earlier in the process, but I always end up adding more at this stage anyway, so do what works for you.)

Set out a tinker tray, or a play dough play invitation, and you’re all set for some engaging, sensory fun!

What’s your favourite type of play dough? (Homemade or commercial – we won’t judge!)

Check out our other homemade play dough ideas:

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