Quick Afternoon Activity - Homemade Play Dough


Mila and I recently made homemade play dough and it made for such a fun afternoon of play time! I'm sure most of your little ones are like my own and ADORE play dough. I used to be intimidated by it because it can get a bit messy and get stuck for what seems like forever into your carpets. Though I've found that throwing down a beach towel or washable play mat before playing is key. I also used to get really anxious when my kids would mix the play dough colors. But I've learned to let that go too. Now with this homemade play dough we can just make more when our supply gets crusty and brown.

I shared on Instagram stories that I had made this homemade play dough with Mila a few weeks back. I am still getting questions about how we made it, colored it and store it to keep fresh. So I'm sharing it all below with a few links to our favorite items for making homemade play dough!

I will mention here, if you follow me on Instagram we have partnered with Target this month. However, this specific blog post is NOT sponsored by Target. Nor are any of the links I'm sharing below :)

Homemade Play Dough

*I pinned this recipe to my 'Kids' Pinterest board back when my son was Mila's age. I finally made the recipe last month and we'll be making it all the time now! I switched up a few things, here's what I did below...

What You Need

2 cups flour

3/4 cup salt

4 teaspoons cream of tarter

2 cups warm water

2 Tablespoons of coconut oil

Food coloring

Lavender Essential Oil (Optional)

What You Do

In a large stock pot over medium low heat stir your; flour, salt, cream of tartar, water and coconut oil together until smooth. Continue stirring until this mixture becomes thick. I have found it is best to use a wooden spoon while making this. You'll want to stir for about five or so minutes until the mixture becomes an actual dough ball! I love having Mila stand nearby on her step stool to watch how the mixture transforms.

Once you have a dough ball remove the dough from the pot and place onto the counter. You can sprinkle the counter with a little bit of flour to help roll the dough into a nice ball. Though it shouldn't stick much.

We like to split the dough ball into four smaller dough balls. These dough balls will become different colors. You can split your dough into however many dough balls you'd like to make how ever many colors you'd like.

We like using just regular food coloring to color our play dough. To get a real vibrant color you have to use quite a lot of color drops. Use your thumb and press a hole into the center of each dough ball. Drop in your food color a few drops at a time. Knead the dough ball with your hands to work in the colors. Be careful to not get food color onto your hands, although I always end up with a little bit stained onto my hands. Since the dough is still warm at this point, I let Mila drop the food coloring into the dough balls and I knead the colors into the dough. I usually put out a snack for her while we do this part as it takes a few minutes to get the dough balls to the perfect color. I also let her sit on the counter and enjoy her snack while she watches me knead the dough.

Another thing I like to do is add a few drops of lavendar oil into the dough balls as I knead in the color. If you are a fan of essential oils then you'll understand. Lavendar oil helps relax the body and reduce anxiety and emotional stress. It also improves sleep and brain function. Plus it smells SO GOOD! I think it is great idea to add it into our homemade play dough, even if you don't believe in the lavendar benefits, adding it makes everything smell nice. ;)

We store our homemade play dough in mini air tight containers and it honestly keeps it so fresh for weeks! And like I said, once one batch is played out you can always make another pretty quickly!

Helpful Items

Photos by Lily Ro Photography