Make your own playdough

Images of ice cream cones with playdough scoops in them for Lunch Lady Magazine

Playdough is an all-time favourite sensory activity for kids (and we reckon it's also rather relaxing for adults). If you want to make your own playdough at home - this is an easy-peasy recipe to work with. We've even included some scented options for extra sensory bliss. Enjoy!

Basic homemade playdough recipe:

You'll need:

  • 2 cups plain flour (all-purpose)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa (if making chocolate playdough)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 1 1/3 cups boiling water
  • few drops of your choice of food colour (or natural food dye)
  • few drops of your choice of flavoured essence (or natural scent ingredients, see below)

To make:

  • Mix the flour, salt and cream of tartar (and cocoa, if you’re making chocolate playdough) into a mixing bowl.
  • Add your chosen essence and food colour, as well as the boiling water and vegetable oil, to the dry ingredients.
  • Stir continuously until the mixture becomes sticky. If you are making chocolate playdough, you may need a little more water in the mix.
  • Allow it to cool down, take it out of the bowl and knead vigorously for a couple of minutes, until all the stickiness has gone and the dough becomes smooth.


Make your playdough scented:

Tick another sensory box and add some scents to your playdough. 


Add ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.


Add cocoa.

Coffee scented:

Add instant coffee granules dissolved in hot water.


Add natural vanilla extract.


Add rosewater.


Add natural peppermint extract, or mint-infused water using peppermint tea.


Add finely grated zest and the juice of a lemon.


Add finely grated zest and the juice of an orange.


Homemade playdough recipe was written for Lunch Lady Magazine Issue 12. Find more good stuff on our Instagram and Facebook pages!

Tags Craft