Crafting with Kids: Homemade Play Dough

I had planned to write about making homemade sidewalk chalk this week. In fact, I'd gathered together our supplies and told the girls this is how we would spend our Saturday.

Then the weather got cold. Again. I don't know about you, but the thought of drawing pictures on the pavement outside in the freezing cold with the wind blowing 15 mph doesn't sound like such a great plan to me! But we love to craft and create on the weekend, so I quickly turned to another plan: homemade play dough.


If you haven't made this before, you should! It's super easy and super safe for kids. It's also cheap to make; you should have everything you need in your cabinets, in fact! And once it is done, it'll keep the kids entertained for hours. Plus you can store it in a baggie or container for a few weeks for more play.  

My girls are older, and their friend, who happened to be at our house, is in between their ages. They were able to help me with all parts of this process, including “cooking” the play dough. Younger kids may be limited in what they can do to help, but if you don’t mind things getting a little messy (I don't), they will enjoy measuring out the ingredients. 

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What You'll Need


1 cup flour

1 cup warm water

2 tablespoon cream of tartar

1 3 ounce package of Jello (this will be the color of your dough; we made blue and red)

Food coloring, if desired (we skipped this)

How to Make

Measure all ingredients and put in a saucepan.


Cook on medium. Stir until the dough forms into a ball that doesn't break apart. At first, the dough will be lumpy. Then it will smooth out some. Continue cooking until it rolls into a ball!


Continue cooking until it rolls into a ball!


Cool on the counter on wax paper or a plate dusted with flour.

Play with dough!

*** I've tried several recipes for this dough. Some call for food coloring. I prefer creating the play dough using different colors of Jello rather than using food coloring. Food coloring can be difficult to clean up, so we use the natural color of the Jello. However, if you want, you can add a few drops of coloring to your dough to change the hue! ***

Do your kids enjoy playing with play dough? Have you ever made it at home? 

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Images courtesy of Kathy Murdock

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Crafting with Kids: Homemade Play Dough

Kathy Murdock works as a full time writer and web designer. Recently planted in the middle of the deep south from the busy streets of Los Angeles, when she's not coding Wordpress websites or writing about women in business and thrifty motherhood, Kathy spends time photographing alligators, playing with her family, and running. ... More

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  1. Profile photo of FunMommy FunMommy says:

    Thank you for sharing your recipe for playdough, I remember making it as a kid with food coloring and having stained fingers for days. A much safer version than store bought and more fun to play with.

  2. Profile photo of lillilly1223 lillilly1223 says:

    fun thing to make an easy


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