Homemade Playdough Recipe That Lasts FOR-EV-ER!

Baby and Kids

Make the world's best playdough recipe that's no muss, no fuss, and is just about the softest thing your kids will play with! Sit back and be amazed at just how long this easy playdough lasts.

Homemade playdough on a counter, from Fun Cheap or Free

Playdough is one of those timeless sensory activities that kids can play with for hours on end. They can squish it, build with it, mold it, cut shapes out, and so much more! You can use it for learning activities or just for pure fun. However, that store-bought playdough can be expensive and dries out so. darn. fast. What's a mama to do??

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Enter our favorite easy, homemade playdough recipe to the rescue! You likely have most of these ingredients in your pantry, and what you don't have, you can easily grab from your local grocery store. Make it whatever color that suits your fancy and let your kids go to town with it!


Kid holding playdough in their hands, from Fun Cheap or Free

You can easily leave the playdough the natural color and your kids will thoroughly enjoy it. However, feel free to add in some of these “extra” things to make your playdough extra fun!

  • Glitter – Seriously, who doesn't love playing with some glittery playdough?!
  • Food Coloring – Use whatever you have to give your playdough lots of color to make it extra inviting.
  • Seasonings – If you're using food coloring, but also want it to smell good, then try adding in some seasonings from your pantry. You can't go wrong with ½ teaspoon of pumpkin spice or cinnamon!
  • Cacao Powder – Make your playdough brown while also smelling like chocolate… Just make sure your kids don't eat it! 😉
  • Kool-Aid – This is another great way to add color in, while also making it smell so good.

Your kids will think you're the coolest parent, ever! We have noticed that the food coloring route makes it last the longest, but use what you've got if it keeps you from going to the store. It'll still last you a long time!


Kid using cutter with playdough, from Fun Cheap or Free

Playdough is fun enough by itself. Most kids can sit down and have fun with it for a while. However, sometimes they can get “bored” with it after playing with it like that for a while (*insert eye roll*). We've found that pairing the playdough along with some other activities or small items can really keep their attention for longer. Happy, entertained kids equals a happy mama!

You can easily find some these at Dollar Tree in their arts and crafts section. Try these out and see which ones your kids love best!

The list could really go on! You'd be surprised at what all kids will find entertaining to play with when it comes to homemade playdough. Seriously, who knew that some playdough, buttons, and measuring cups could make for such a fun activity?!


Homemade playdough and fun toys, from Fun Cheap or Free

If you've been looking for a new playdough recipe because all the others dry out quickly, then you're in luck. This playdough will literally last FOREVER! When your kids aren't playing with it, store it in an airtight container and put it somewhere they can easily find it. Because let's be honest, we all know they'll be reaching for it again five minutes later!

Easy Playdough Recipe

This easy, homemade playdough recipe is about to become your new favorite! Whip it up and let your kids go to town playing with it.
5 from 2 votes


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar, optional *Note
  • Kool-Aid packet, food coloring, or other add-ins (optional)


  • Add all ingredients to a saucepan and stir until everything is combined and there are no lumps.
  • Turn the stove to medium heat and continuously stir until it starts to clump… Then keep stirring until it is all one big clump!
  • Remove from heat and knead by hand.
  • Store in an airtight container when it's not being played with.


*You don't HAVE to use Cream of Tartar. However, it's a preservative and is what helps the playdough last so long!
***If it's too sticky, sprinkle a little flour on the table while kneading and it will stop sticking!

See, you can't go wrong with this easy playdough recipe. Your kids will love it and honestly, you will too! Just try to keep from playing with it yourself. Or do play with it yourself, whatever floats your boat. 😉

The biggest question is… What colors are you going to make first?! Let us know how it goes in the comments!

Image with text that reads "easy homemade playdough" from Fun Cheap or Free

Looking for more great ideas to keep your kids engaged?

Enjoy that playdough!


  1. Linda Mecklenburg

    As a former preschool teacher. I’ve been using this playdoh recipe since 1980. It is the best!


      5 stars
      I was a daycare center teacher in the 80’s also, my director of the school would pay me to make a batch for all the classrooms using this recipe, kids loved it!

  2. Soha

    5 stars
    If we dont have Cream of tartar? What can be added?

    • Fun Cheap or Free

      Cream of tartar helps to act as a preservative, helps to add some elasticity and makes it smoother. You could probably just leave it out, but it doesn’t sound like it will last as long without it. You’ll have to let us know how it works!

  3. Cindy

    My mom used to make this for me. I remember it going moldy… how do you stop that?

    • Fun Cheap or Free

      We haven’t ever had that problem! Cream of tartar acts as a preservative, maybe she didn’t have any to use in it?

  4. vanessa

    This turned out great! Super easy. We added glitter and it’s our ‘unicorn’ playdough. Thank you 🙂


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