Fine Motor Activity how to sensory play Uncategorized

How to Make Playdough

Playdough is a very popular sensory medium that can be used for so many different play experiences. Whatever the theme of your play, playdough could be incorporated into an activity.

Create sculptures, press it into shapes, letters, numbers, run toy cars over it to see the tyre prints, roll it out to make snakes, bake it to make beads, hide dinosaurs in it pretending they are fossils, press flowers into it to make potion stones, build landscapes that have never seen before and bring things only seen in dreams to life.

So how do you make playdough? There are many different recipes and techniques to make playdough. At the end of the day, there aren’t too many differences between them all.

Personally, I prefer to make it in the Thermomix (lets be honest, it’s less effort with doughy hands) however you can easily make this recipe on the stove top or even in a bowl using boiling water.

The secret is to dissolve the salt. You get a much smoother result.

Here is the basic recipe we use adapted for each cooking method:

Bowl – No extra heat

1 cup of boiling Water (from the kettle works)

1/2 cup Salt

1 tablespoon Cream of Tartar

2 cups of Plain Flour

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

1. Place the water, salt and cream of tartar into a heat proof bowl. Stir until dissolved.

2. Add flour and olive oil. Mix until combined then knead until smooth.

Usually I use just normal salt however when I went to take these step by step photos, I realised we didn’t have any so I used Himalayan Pink Salt instead- hence the colour!

Edit: The pink salt batch was quite crumbly when fresh out of the fridge which is strange for this recipe. The kids still loved it but I will probably stick with normal sea salt from now on!

Stove Top

1 cup of Water

1/2 cup Salt

1 tablespoon Cream of Tartar

2 cups of Plain Flour

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

1. Place the water, salt and cream of tartar into a medium saucepan on medium heat. Stir until salt and cream of tartar are dissolved. Remove from heat.

2. Add flour and olive oil. Mix until combined then knead until smooth.


250g Water

100g Salt

1 tablespoon Cream of Tartar

250g Plain Flour

20g Olive Oil

1. Place the water, salt and cream of tartar into bowl 6min/ 60 / speed 3

2. Add flour and olive oil 40s/ speed 4. Knead on dough function 1 minute.

From here you may add colours, glitters, scented oils, herbs or spices.

Food colouring can transform your nude dough to a soft baby pink or a vibrant green.

Add a subtle shimmer with fine glitter or disco it up with some chunky glitter!

Add another sensory element to your playdough – a scent! You could use oils or raid your pantry! Spices and aromatics such as cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, sumac, nutmeg and ginger could all take your playdough to the next level.

You could add textures to your dough with rice, grains of wheat or barley, gumnuts, beads or sand.

Here I have added blue colouring and some blue glitter (I have a beach themed scene in mind for the upcoming school holidays)

[wpvideo I3WEnENM ]

Why not play with it straight from the fridge when it is cold and firm or pop it into the microwave to make it warmer and pliable?

Playdough can be used for open ended or structured play. Set a challenge for your children or let them create their own journey.

Either way, the small muscles in their fingers and hands will be working hard with every roll, squeeze, push, pinch or squish. Playdough is amazing for building up fine motor strength!

We keep ours in the fridge either in a zip lock bag or a snap lock plastic container. At the moment we have a few batches on the go. One of them we made at the beginning of the year and it is still lovely and soft.

If you haven’t made playdough, please don’t be scared- it’s so easy and such a brilliant sensory medium.


Dani D x

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Check out this range of resources to use with your playdough!

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  4. Amber says:

    I need to try and do this one day! My kids are older, but they still enjoy playing with Play Doh. I’ve never attempted to make it on my own.

  5. This is so clever! I will definitely have to give this a try sometime. I know some kids who would have a blast playing with this.

  6. I love the idea of homemade playdoh!! My kids would enjoy this!

  7. My little sister would always make playdough in school when she was younger and it was perfect. Kids are funny and put everything in their mouth. At least the ingredients were safe so if that was to happen, it wouldn’t be as big a panic.

  8. We’ve never tried to make playdoh before but I bet my kids would love to! I’ll have to try it sometime.

  9. Homemade playdough is the best. My boys still love playing with it even though they are 10 and 12.

  10. Wow I didn’t know it was easy. Why have I been wasting money? I need to try this.

  11. Joanna says:

    I have a friend who has a one year old so I will pass this to her. I am sure he will enjoy playing with play dough. 🙂

  12. tfrett6 says:

    What a neat idea!! I tend to stay away from play-doh but wouldn’t mind making it. I’ll have to save this recipe!

  13. this is such a fun idea! I love being able to make fun easy crafts with my kids and this play dough seems like something they would love.

  14. oooh this is such a great idea! i love a little craft even more when it keeps the kids busy!

  15. Homemade playdoh is the best! My Mum was a nursery nurse and even as I got older I used to love it when it came out warm from the microwave.

  16. Fatima D Torres says:

    What a fun way to get the kids excited about creating something they’ll love! Our boys enjoy molding things already.

  17. Bindu Thomas says:

    Wow..I love this method. My kids will definitely love taking part in this. I am bookmarking this.

  18. GladysNava says:

    Wow! That was really amazing idea! Kids definitely enjoying this wonderful toy that can be made in the home.

  19. This is such a a great and cool idea to keep our kids busy. And also it makes them creative too especially on this cold weather where we all stay at home a lot.

  20. Love that shade of blue. I didn’t know it’s so easy to make playdough at home. I am sure to try this out!

  21. My mother used to make this and give us as kids. We had done quite a few models with that. Unfortunately despite our best efforts to maintain them they collapsed after a few years.

  22. Making it is part of the fun, right? 🙂 I love to do stuff like this with the kids.

    1. Yes! You are so right! Warm, freshly made play dough feels amazing!

  23. I have always wanted to make playdough at home! I am totally going to try this recipe! I made edible dough once from peanut butter and that was kind of fun!

  24. I am not a parent, but I have a lot of friends who are . I will forward this post over to them as I think it might help them 🙂 x

  25. Playdough is always fun for little kids. Better playdough than slime!

  26. I love making play dough for my kids. I’ve made so many different recipes. This one is on of my FAVORITES.

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