Looking for the best homemade playdough recipe without cream of tartar?
This 5 minute homemade playdough is arguably even better than the real thing. It’s pretty eco friendly too.
Whilst you can of course add cream of tartar to your playdough recipe if you want (it gives a bit of extra elasticity), I’m not sure how many of us naturally have it knocking around in the cupboard? We don’t anyway!
This simple (but very effective!) homemade playdough works fine without it and uses just 4 ingredients you’ll almost certainly have kicking around:
- food colouring (if you don’t have any in the house, you can still make the homemade playdough, it will just be an off white, beige colour)
- salt (optional, as a preservative)
It’s a no cook playdough recipe too, so it’s really quick and cheap to make.
And did you know that playdough has lots of creative benefits for little ones? These include:
- Develops fine motor skill development: all the squishing and squashing is great for strengthening little ones muscle tones and also helps dexterity in their hands and fingers – an essential area of physical development for writing, drawing and other skils.
- Helps kids learn – playdough is a great introduction to simple science, maths and literacy – helping kids to explore explore shapes and problem solving and even simple letter or number formation.
- Helps social and emotional development – kids love to talk about and show you what they’ve made, plus playdough can be a great soothing tool for kids to safely let off a bit of steam with some energetic kneading and rolling.
- Encourages creativity and imagination – playdough is a real winner for make believe and free, open ended play, which is so often lacking in a lot of today’s one dimensional branded toys.
- Helps develop hand-eye-co-ordination
Playdough Fun Fact!
Did you know Play-Doh was first sold as a wallpaper cleaner? People used it to remove soot and dirt from their wall by rolling a piece across the surface. It didn’t actually become available as a toy until 1955, when they also introduced colour.
If you’ve avoided making homemade playdough until now because you thought it couldn’t be a contender for the real thing, read on…
It’s actually more naturally naturally ‘squidgy’ than the real thing and it literally takes minutes to rustle up a batch of colourful, tactile, super sensory play dough.
Another big benefit is that kids can make it with you (like this edible paint).
Here’s how to make it in 5 minutes (or less):
Easy homemade playdough recipe without cream of tartar
Ingredients for your homemade playdough
- 2 cups plain flour
- half to one cup warm water
- food colouring
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil (or any sort of edible kitchen oil)
- half a cup of table salt (this is optional, but acts as a preservative and adds a bit of extra texture and body to the dough)
How to make your homemade playdough without cream of tartar
Step 1 – Add the flour, oil and salt (if using salt) to a mixing bowl and stir
Step 2 – Add a few drops of food colouring to the cup of warm water.
Note: the actual play dough will end up a slightly lighter shade than the water, so if you want a rich coloured playdough, add an extra drop or two.
Although the intention here obviously isn’t to tuck into your playdough for lunch, if you’re not keen on using run of the mill food dyes, which usually contain artificial ingredients, you could try making your own natural food colouring with this recipe. Otherwise, Wilton are a popular brand that tend to give good results.
Step 3 – Add a couple of tablespoons of coloured warm water to your bowl and start kneading. Slowly add more water as required until you get a playdough consistency.
It’s easy to add too much water the first time you make a batch of DIY playdough, so start slowly with the water and work up. You’ll soon get a feel for the right consistency when you’ve made a batch or two.
Then knead the dough for a couple of minutes to get a good and pliable ‘non sticky’ consistency. If the dough feels too sticky still just add in a bit more flour and give it another knead.
Step 4 – Wash and repeat for your next batch
So there you have it – an easy homemade no cook playdough recipe without cream of tartar. There are of course a bunch of other excellent homemade playdough recipes out there – but I’m a big fan of keeping things simple – especially when it works as good as this.
How long does homemade playdough without cream of tartar last?
Left out, your playdough will start to harden after a day or so (it may also start to lose it’s colour vibrancy a bit too).
However, if you pop your homemade playdough into small plastic containers and store them in the fridge, they should last a few weeks. Especially of you add the salt.
More ideas for creative playdough fun
For some added creativity (and sensory fun for toddlers), you can also grab a container and fill it with bits and bobs that your child can use in tandem with the playdough.
This can help open up a whole new world of possibilities and creative play for children & parents. Just make sure the items are age appropriate if your child is still exploring objects with their mouth.
Some simple ideas include:
- plastic shape cutters
- small shells or pebbles
- leaves, twigs & acorns
- google eyes
- pasta shapes
- small fir cones
- miniature animals & figures
- colourful beads.
Have fun with this easy no bake homemade playdough (without cream of tartar) recipe…
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This recipe was awesome! Made the dough in under 5 minutes and barely no clean up! Kids loved it!
I know, it’s so easy to make isn’t it! Really glad the kids liked it…
Would canola oil work
Hi Leah – I can’t see why not. I used some olive oil, but canola should be fine.