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Make Your Own Messy Play Dough


This kids’ play dough recipe is really easy to follow, and they’ll have lots of fun with it! Creating gooey dough to squeeze and squidge through your fingers takes no time at all and costs just pennies. And after your kids have finished experimenting with the play dough, they can make figures out of it which go hard when left out overnight, for a longer-lasting reminder of their messy masterpiece!

The preparation will require an adult’s help, especially the heating up part, but the dough itself is completely child-friendly and won’t harm them if any is swallowed accidentally.  

What you need to make play dough

All you need for this play dough recipe is some simple store cupboard ingredients:

  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tbsps cooking oil
  • 4 tsps cream of tartar
  • A few drops of food colouring in different colours
  • Optional: glitter

For more information, including instructions on how to make your play dough, just keep on scrolling!

Messy play dough recipe - what to do

  1. Pour all the dry ingredients into a saucepan and stir in the liquids gradually.
  2. Stir on a very low heat until the dough forms a ball, and becomes less sticky.
  3. Turn it out onto a clean surface and knead it until it becomes smooth and squidgy!
  4. Split the play dough into four and add a couple of drops of food colouring to make 4 colours of dough. At this point you can also add some glitter to the dough to make it super sparkly – be warned this will make the play dough even messier!

Making play dough shapes

Once you and your kids have made your play dough, it’s time for them to really get stuck in and get hands-on with the dough. Let them splat, squidge, or roll different shapes with their fingers, or give them plastic cutters to create more refined figures, like stars or animals.

You can either leave the play dough to set over night and keep their creations as keepsakes or gifts for loved ones, or roll the dough back up into balls and keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks – this way your kids will get to play with their homemade play dough multiple times!

For an alternative play dough recipe, check out our article on how to make cloud dough – it’s a light, fluffy dough that originates from Chile! Or, why not try making your own clay for kids – follow our recipe here. Kids will love making this messy play dough and creating their own sculptural masterpieces!

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