Creative Play Dough Art and Best Play Dough Recipe


Mixing Media for Creativity, and the BEST Play Dough Recipe!

I adore the creativity that comes out with regular play dough play, and adding in a few extra materials opens the door to so may new options! I fell in love with these little guys that Johnny made using play dough, paper, and googley eyes! The creation on the left is a boat they can ride in! The kids dried these creations, and they have enjoyed playing with them! Did you know that you can coat play dough creations with mod podge for extra durability? We didn’t do it this time, because of the googley eyes, but we have before. You just need to make sure the play dough is completely dry so you don’t seal moisture inside.

I was visiting Johnny’s preschool this week, and they had the best play dough ever, made by one of the aides, who also happens to be one of my favorite people at his school. She was kind enough to give me her recipe!

My New Favorite Playdough Recipe

1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
1 tsp cream of tartar

1 cup water
1Tbsp oil
Food coloring

Mix the dry ingredients together, then add in the wet ingredients, whisking until smooth. Then, cook over medium heat until the play dough is nearly set (no longer sticking to the edges of the pan). Remove the play dough from the heat and knead on a flat surface until cool. Store in a ziploc bag or airtight container.


Whisking the ingredients until they are smooth and then cooking makes all the difference! I have made a lot of different play dough recipes, and I love this one!


Here are a few more mixed media play dough explorations my kids have enjoyed:

What are your favorite things to combine with play dough?


  1. Cynthia says

    I’m not sure what I did wrong with the recipe, but it was too sticky to knead without adding extra flour. I had to add almost a cup more and I live in an arid location. I’ll admit that it’s been 30 years since I made play dough (and not this method), but I don’t remember it being that sticky. Help! (My measurements were definitely correct.) At least my daughter had fun with the end result (her first time using play dough).

  2. Cynthia says

    Yes, I cooked it. I’m not sure if I cooked it long enough because I wasn’t sure what “nearly set” looked like. It was starting to get glumpy (no longer smooth). I’ll try cooking it longer next time. Should it be completely handlable if cooked long enough? No extra flour required for kneading? I bake a lot (or at least used to pre child) so I’m used to kneading on floured surfaces.

    • says

      I’m so glad you commented! My directions definitely need some clarification – and I just edited the post to hopefully make things a bit more clear. “Nearly set” means that it shouldn’t easily stick to the edges of the pan, and you do not need any flour to knead it. The oil and salt will keep it from sticking. It will be very hot, so you’ll need to knead carefully.

      Hopefully this helps! Please let me know if you try the recipe again and it still does not turn out as you expected.

      • Cynthia says

        My daughter is finally interested enough in play dough for me to try the recipe again (thank you local literacy centre that allows her to try activities without me having to commit to the creation and cleanup). Anyway, I tried the recipe again and it worked perfectly. The photos you included in a more recent post helped tonnes! My original problem was because I had whisked the batter and continued to use the whisk, which of course didn’t work when it got super thick. The wooden spoon worked wonders. I just hope my daughter has fun playing with it tomorrow.


Thanks for taking the time to comment!