from the ideas for young children page

1 C


1 C


½ C


2 t

cream of tartar

2 T


a few drops

food coloring (optional)

Mix   all ingredients in a pot.
Cook over low heat, stirring, until it forms a ball.
             a strong wooden spoon is good

It's possible to add the food coloring later, but messier. You might want to make two or three batches the same day to get a variety of colors (and if so buy lots of salt).

You might add oatmeal, or pineapple flavoring or peppermint or seasonings like curry powder.

Store the playdough you intend to re-use in a plastic bags and it should last a while.

Jill Parmer, Sandra Dodd, Pam Sorooshian

A suggestion to make it with boiling water but without cooking has been removed for bad reviews. 🙂

The tried and true way is up above.

Process, not Product
from Just Add Light and Stir, December 28, 2010

A disposable art material, intended for playing but not for keeping, is playdough. It's not edible, it won't keep for years, and baking it makes it brittle without extra strength. It's not an investment in permanence, which can be therapeutic in itself for some people.

Æsthetically, it's nice for children. It starts off warm (starts off hot), feels good, and smells good, especially with some of the additives Pam Sorooshian recommends here. The play is soothing and easily shared, It can all be saved in ziploc bags for a while, and eventually thrown away.

Meanwhile, children can discover color combinations from mixing bits of different batches. They can experiment with making coil pots and little sculptures, or just generally squish the dough through their fingers. If your children are older, they might still have big fun. If your children are grown, you-the-mom (or dad) might find some unexpected entertainment yourself.

(and it linked to this page)
photo by Holly Dodd