Activities | Five Minute Playdough

Yesterday on Facebook one of our readers asked for a playdough recipe, so here it is! We hope you have lots of playdough fun! 

I must have tried over twenty different playdough recipes over the years but I keep coming back to this one. It’s a pretty similar recipe that my mum used to make for my brother and I, except I’ve added some cream of tartar so that it will last longer and some food colouring so it looks more inviting than just beige dough (however I never remember not enjoying my beige dough, so don’t always feel you need to add the colouring and the extras)

What you will need:

  • 120g plain flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 75g table salt
  • 230ml Water
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • Food colouring
  • Any extras. See below for ideas.

Place all of your ingredients into a medium sized saucepan and turn the heat onto medium low and stir with a wooden spoon. Within a minute your mixture should start coming together to form a dough, keep staring until the dough is no longer looking wet. Remove the dough onto a clean surface and let cool for a minute and then kneed the dough for about thirty seconds. After a few minutes your dough should be cool enough to play with but make sure you always check before giving to a child.


Extras For a sensory experience.

So many possibilities it hard to know where to start.


  • Food colouring. Like with anything adding more food colouring gives a deeper colour.
  • Glitter. The same colour as the coloured dough or a contrasting glitter.
  • Textures. Add lentils or sea salt to the finished product. (This extra salt will dry the dough out though so it’s more for a one use playdough activity.)
  • Equipment. Use cutlery to make prints, toy pizza cutter (patterned ones too), cookie cutters, moulds, rolling pin, use pictures to make model copies.

Season themed


  • Lemon scented dough
  • Use animal cutters
  • Pastel yellow, blue, pink, purple, vivid green, white dough
  • Make flowers, rainbows, nests for playdough chicks to hatch in, butterflies, vegetable patches


  • Lavender scented dough
  • Make shells, fruits, ice creams, beach scene
  • Use mini buckets and spades
  • Vibrant red, green, blue, pink, yellow, purple, orange


  • Ginger scented dough
  • Red, orange, yellow, brown dough
  • Use leaves, cinnamon sticks, star anise and oven dried orange slices (a packet of potpourri can help here) to print with and roll pine cones through it.
  • Make worms, fireworks, root vegetables, leaves, bonfires, stars


  • Cinnamon scented dough
  • White, pale blue, green, red dough
  • Use snowflake, star, tree cutters
  • Add blue and silver glitter
  • Make tree decorations, candy sticks, snowmen

Big events can be a great theme for playdough too like, Easter, birthdays, Christmas, Divali, bonfire night, endless play opportunities!

© pocketnannies 2015

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