My daughter has been playing with play-doh since she was just old enough to ask for it; and I learned to embrace it.  I never really understood the moms who hated it, it let me tend to dinner and fold that last load of laundry.  This could be just me, but it’s really easy to clean! Once it dries, it sweeps right up with a sweeper vac or broom.

During my time working as a craft teacher, I’ve tried different homemade play-dough recipes and this is the one I’ve found to be just right.  It’s a base for all play-dough.  You can add different essential oils, or spices to change the smell. You could also use packets of flavored drink mix to add both color and smell.  I’ve even added glitter.  The possibilities are endless!  Being able to switch up the ingredients, keeps it new and fun for the kids too!

Basic ingredients are:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup table salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons Cream of Tarter

Final ingredient(s)—Your choice of glitter, food coloring, drink mix, essential oils, etc.
For this particular batch of play-dough, I used Lemon Grass Oil and yellow food coloring.

Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until combined.  You will have to knead the dough for it to completely come together. The weather may impact how your play-dough comes out, too. Allow the doh to cool some to check the texture. Sometimes you will find it cools down to be a little too dry, in that can you may need to add a few drops of water.  If you find it to be too wet or sticky after cooling, you can add a some more flour.


It’s amusing to find different “final ingredients” to put in your play-dough.  This recipe works great with store bought play-dough toys but I also like to put out different items for creative play.  I like using pipe cleaners and buttons over traditional toys sometimes.  Gets the kids to think outside the box.  Our daughters are big fans of using their figurines in their dough play and I’m sure the boys will come up with something totally different!

This year for Halloween, we made orange, pumpkin pie scented dough, using pumpkin spice for the scent.  Using the Cricut Explore we were able to make stems and vinyl jack-o-lantern faces, making them the perfect classroom treat!! We all know they get enough candy and this is a fun alternative is a huge hit with the kids!!!


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