Homemade Play Dough

Since we are all spending a bit more time than usual at home finding ways to keep your little ones busy requires a bit of extra creativity. As a parent, I like the challenge of coming up with new and exciting ways for her to learn through play. Truthfully, I don’t know who has more fun with the whole process of creating these activities and then playing/doing, me or Emerson. A simple activity that is easy to make and results in hours of fun is homemade play dough. I know, we spent a solid 2 hours playing with it after we made it, and for a 2 year old that speaks volumes!

This easy recipe uses just a few simple pantry items and takes only about 15 minutes to make from start to finish. I love getting creative with the color combos, too (I told you I may enjoy this a little too much!).

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • all purpose flour
  • salt
  • water
  • lemon juice
  • cooking oil (I’ve tried this with olive, avocado, and coconut)
  • food coloring (optional)
  • mixing bowl
  • cooking pot
  • wooden spoon
  • parchment


  • I recommend using a wooden spoon to stir as it will stick less and tends to be easier to mix.
  • Stick to making one color at a time as this will require constant stirring and you don’t want to have to switch back and forth between pots.
  • A little food coloring goes a long way. I suggest about 4 drops per color.
  • If making several colors keep in mind your burner and pan will be warm after the first batch so you may need to lower the heat a bit to avoid boiling the water/cooking the dough too quickly.
  • Allow the play dough to rest once it’s done as it will be hot throughout. No need to worry about it drying out that quickly while it sits out uncovered. Once it’s cool throughout (to test split in half and touch the center) you can knead to smooth out and use immediately or store in an airtight container for later use.

So mix up a batch with your little ones today to create a family-friendly activity that is fun for everyone!

Homemade Play Dough

Author: The Hungry Happy Mama

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes


  • 1 c all purpose flour
  • 1/4 c salt
  • 3/4 c water
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used avocado)
  • food coloring (optional)


  1. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized pot add the water, lemon juice, oil, and food coloring if using. Warm the mixture over medium-low heat without letting it come to a boil.
  3. Once warm, add the dry mixture and using a wooden spoon stir to incorporate the ingredients.
  4. As you continue to mix the dough will begin to form and become less sticky. Continue to stir/flip the dough until no sticky or wet areas remain.
  5. Once done, remove the dough and allow it to cool on parchment. Once cool to the touch knead with your hands until it comes together.
  6. Repeat the steps to create additional colors.

Storing: Play Dough will keep best in an airtight container.

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