• Renee Hudlow

Everyday Super-Soft No-Cook Playdough

Updated: Nov 6, 2021

An Oxford Toy Closet original recipe!

Play Dough and Toddlers

Child's hands whisking flour
My toddler (22 months) whipping up a batch of Pumpkin Spice Playdough.

Since my daughter reached 18 months, playdough has been a staple in our house. It comes out most days, usually when I need a break or have a task to complete.

She loves the process of making playdough with me just as much as the time she spends playing with it, and I love how simple it is to make!

I can make this recipe in about 10 minutes on my own, or in 15-20 minutes with my helper. (Funny how that works, huh?)

I've seen playdough recommended for 3+ lots of places, but I think it depends on the toddler. We waited until our child had mostly stopped mouthing before introducing it. For us, that was around 18 months.

Making the playdough myself definitely makes me feel more comfortable should she taste it, as I know the ingredient list exactly. That being said, playdough contains significant amounts of salt, which can be dangerous in large doses. It's best to wait to introduce it until toddlers are safely past the "taste everything" stage.

About Our Recipe

For our everyday recipe, we've chosen the no-cook option. While cooked playdough may have a slightly improved texture, I don't think it's enough to warrant the extra work! And, I love that many of the tasks in this recipe can be completed by my toddler.

I've experimented with at least a dozen recipes and played with measurements until I finally settled on this combination. It's super soft, and it lasts for months!

Each of the ingredients plays an important role, so I wouldn't skip any. Sometimes people ask if the cream of tarter is necessary, and it definitely is! It keeps the playdough soft and prevents crumbling. That being said, if you don't have cream of tarter, people sometimes substitute baking powder, as it is a combination of baking soda and cream of tarter.

Optional: Blend the salt

Not a requirement, but it helps the salt dissolve evenly, making the playdough less sticky and grainy. If you skip this step, you may need to add a tad more salt and flour at the end.


Our Pumpkin Pie Playdough, based on this recipe. The beautiful bowls shown here were thrifted!

There are so many ways to spice up this basic playdough recipe! You can add:

  • Spices like cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

  • Mix-ins like glitter (choose biodegradable!)

  • Natural flowers or herbs like lavender or rosemary

  • Extracts like peppermint

  • Essential oils

Setting up an Invitation to Play

Pairing playdough with accessories encourages engagement and independent play! We suggest:

  • small containers or bowls

  • kitchen tools like cookie cutters, wooden knives, spoons, etc.

  • loose parts like acorns, beads, buttons, rocks, pipe-cleaners, feathers, etc.

Everyday Super-Soft No-Cook Playdough Recipe!


  • Plastic mixing bowl

  • Kettle or pot to boil water

  • Silicone spatula for mixing

  • Old jars, tupperware, silicone bags, or ziplock bags for storage


  • 1 cup of flour

  • 2 tsp of cream of tarter

  • 1/4 a cup of salt blended (*optional, but add 1/2 tbs of both salt and flour if you omit blending)

  • 1/2 cup boiling water

  • Food coloring (15-20 drops)

  • 1 tbs. oil


  1. Measure out the dry ingredients and mix together.

  2. Boil the water. (You will want to boil more than 1/2 cup, as some will evaporate.) Measure out 1/2 cup of water, and mix in the food coloring.

  3. Add the colored water and oil to the dough. Mix until all ingredients are combined.

  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for 5-7 minutes. The dough will start out sticky, but after kneading, it should be a good texture. If not, see below!


If your dough is still sticky after kneading, it is too moist. You can reduce the moisture by adding in 1/2 tbs. of salt and 1/2 tbs. of flour. If needed, you can continue adding flour in small increments till it reaches the consistency you desire.

Enjoy and please leave your feedback on this recipe below. If you completed this project with your toddler, let us know how it went!

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