How To Make Playdough | Soft, Easy, Edible, 2 or 3 Ingredient Recipes!

Looking to make edible, easy, soft playdough in minutes? Discover how to make playdough three different ways depending on what you have in the pantry!

As a mom of two, I get you sometimes need tip make playing dough in a pinch! And these playdough recipes will have you covered for every occasion!

Below, you'll find a 2 ingredient play dough recipe that you can make without salt, flour, or cream of tartar! A 3 Ingredient play-doh recipe you can make without cream of tartar, salt, or flour. And my personal favorite soft play doh recipe that feels just like the real thing with flour, salt, and cream of tartar!

You'll also discover which play dough recipes are edible, how to make the most vibrant colored play-doh, and how to do it without any cooking! Plus I'm sharing loads of trouble shooting tips if your playdough is too sticky or dries out!

Wondering how to make soft playdough that feels like the real “Play-Doh” brand and will last for months?!

Ever wonder how to make soft playdough with flour? This is my go-to playdough recipe since it's edible playdough (technically taste safe depending on how you decide to color it).

With that said below you'll find a few more recipes as well as tips for troubleshooting if your play dough dries out or is too sticky!

Soft Edible PlayDough Recipe:

Soft Play Doh Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour (packed down into the measuring cup)
  • 1/4 cup of  table salt
  • 1 tablespoon of oil (any oil works! Coconut, vegetable, olive, whatever!)
  • 3/4 cup of boiling water (measured in a dry measuring cup – this is important as wet and dry measures aren’t the same and using a wet measure will likely make your play dough too sticky)
  • 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable glycerine
  • Food coloring, crayons, or jello packets (more on that further down!)

Step-by-step instruction for edible play-doh:

Step 1: Add water to pot and set to high

Step 2: While you wait for the water to boil, in a large bowl mix flour, salt, oil, cream of tartar, and glycerine.

Step 3: Add water to bowl and mix well

Step 4: Let mixture cool for about 5 minutes (until you can easily handle) then knead it into a ball

Step 5 (optional): Add color! You can add the color to the water at Step 3, or wait until your playdough is done at Step 4 then add it.

TIP: If you're making 1 color, add it at step 3. If you're making multiple colors from the dough, wait until after Step 4. At which point you'd separate the dough into sections and add dye directly onto the dough and knead until it's mixed in.

NOTE: If using crayons to color the dough, you will have to add at Step 3.

How to make soft edible playdough! Sharing 3 homemade playdough recipes using stuff from your pantry! A 2 ingredient recipe without cream of tartar or flour or salt! A 3 ingredient recipe without flour, and two edible recipes for toddlers sensory play!

More Play Dough Recipes:

How to make playdough with 2 ingredients:

If you want to know how to make playdough without flour or cream of tartar and with as few ingredients as possible all you're going to need is some cheap hair conditioner and either corn flour or cornstarch.

Simple 2 ingredient playdough recipe without flour:

1 part conditioner to 2 parts cornstarch.

I'd suggest starting with 1/2 cup conditioner and 1 cup cornstarch to see if you like this consistency! Just stir it up well, and if you'd like you can add food coloring.

Obviously, this recipe is not edible so I'd avoid it with young babies or toddlers! It is SILKY soft though!

How to make playdough with 3 ingredients:

3 Ingredient playdough without cream of tartar or flour ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup baking soda
3 Ingredient Playdough Recipe:

Step 1: Add playdough ingredient to a saucepan and stir

Step 2: Turn your stove top to medium heat and add your saucepan

Step 3: Continuously stir the pot for about 4 to 5 minutes. The mixture will go from smooth, to bubbly, to solid. Once it turns solid remove from heat.

Step 4: Add dough to a silicone mat or parchment paper to cool. You can spread it out thinly or flip it over and knead it once in a while to speed up the cooling process.

Step 5 (optional): Add food coloring! You can separate your newly cooked playdough into multiple sections and color them differently too!

This recipe is taste safe, but obviously I wouldn't want me kid eating baking soda! They probably won't love the taste of it either thankfully. However if you do have a child who does like to taste all the activities you set up, I'd use this recipe over the 2 ingredient play-doh recipe!

Troubleshooting your play dough:

If your playdough comes out too sticky:

Add flour or more cornstarch depending on the recipe you're using!

Think of it like any other baked good and just toss some flour or starch on the counter (or parchment paper), and re-knead the dough until it's your desired consistency.

How to make play doh soft again:

Add water! Add just a few drops of water at a time and re-knead your play doh.

Be careful not to add too much water too quickly, because you'll be left with a slimey mess.

Tips for adding color to your playdough:

There are a few ways to add color to homemade playdough.

Obviously you can use food coloring. However you can also use the powder from jello or kool-aid packets or crayons too!

Food coloring:

Food coloring is an easy way to add color to homemade play-doh, however I find the colors are a little dull unless you add A TON of it; which can get expensive.

If your playdough recipe calls for water, you can add the food coloring to the water.

However, if you are looking to make one batch of play-doh in multiple colors, I'd suggest waiting to add the food coloring until AFTER you've made the dough. At that point, you'd separate the dough into however many colors you'd like to make (e.g. you want red, blue, and yellow playdough so you section your finished white playdough into thirds)., then add the food coloring by kneading it into the smaller finished dough balls.

Jello/Kool-Aid packets:

These add a nice scent and taste to your playdough and can be more cost effective or readily available in your pantry compared to food coloring.

Personally, I don't do this since I don't want my daughter eating the playdough though.

Again, just like the food coloring, you can add this to the water step, or dissolve a little into hot water and knead that into the finished dough. If the latter makes your play-doh too sticky, troubleshoot with the flour tip above!

Crayons:

In my experience, crayons provide THE MOST VIBRANT play-doh colors of all the options! However it is the most labor intensive and I wouldn't consider it taste safe or edible anymore.

You can do this a couple of ways:

  1. EASIEST: If making one color play dough that uses boiling water: start by melting the crayons first, then add a smidge more amount of water than the recipe calls for to the saucepan and bring it to a boil and continue the recipe as stated above.
  2. REFRESH COLOR OR MULTIPLE COLORS: You can melt the crayons down on medium heat, then add the finished playdough to the saucepan and fold over continuously. Once things are fairly well mixed, and the play dough is cool enough to handle (still warm though), re-knead it with your hands to blend the colors in well. NOTE: If your playdough is too cool and you try to add melted crayon, the crayon will just resolidify. If you get any chunks of crayon, just re-add the mixture to a warm pan and press it flat so those little bits can melt down.

Watch the video on how to make playdough if you need a visual of what I mean:

TIP: Save your kids tiny crayon remnants for this. I'd go with the first recipe in this post since it creates an incredible, soft playdough that can be easily stored and lasts for months.

Depending on the size of your playdough, you'll need around 2-5 crayons. Keep in mind, just like crayons can stain things sometimes, this crayon colored play-dough may stain while warm/hot and it will obviously no longer be edible!

Activities to do with homemade playdough:

  • Make Christmas Ornaments: If using a flour based playdough recipe, you can bake it in the oven at 200 degrees for about 10-15 minutes to harden your creations!
  • Spider Halloween Playdough Kit Activity For Preschoolers + Toddlers
  • Sensory Bins: Use blue or white play dough as a base for an ocean themed sensory bin! Or green and brown play-doh for a spring or nature inspired sensory bin!
  • STEM: Use playdough and toothpicks to make geodesic domes!
  • Color theory: Mix primary colored playdough together to come up with secondary and tertiary colors!

If you make your own playing dough, I'd love to hear how it comes out! Share with my in the comments of my Youtube video here!
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