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Super excited to have Meredith back sharing her recipe for DIY Play Dough. Play Dough can be used in so many ways, I just love bringing out a big ball of it and having the kids get to work.  Practicing numbers, letters, shapes, pretend play…the options are endless!  Well, without a second longer, here she is…

My students always love play dough. I don’t make it often enough. Between reading, common core, and everything else I have to pack into my half-day kindergarten, there just isn’t enough time. When we have it, I like to make it special.

DIY Play Dough

Most often, my students use play dough during free choice or holiday centers. It is something all kids know and love, so it’s an easy activity to keep students engaged. It can be used to practice spelling, sight words, letter recognition, counting and other math skills, fine motor practice, etc. The possibilities are honestly endless.

The recipe I use makes a good-sized batch of play dough. It is enough for 6-10 students to use at once. It does not dry out easily, and does not crumble.

Play Dough:

2 cups flour

½ cup salt

2 tbsp cream of tartar

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 ½ cups boiling water

+ any food dye, spices or sparkles you want to add


  1. Begin my sifting all dry ingredients together.
  2. If you are using food dye, mix it in with your water before you boil
  3. Boil the water in the microwave for 3-4 minutes (watch it carefully)
  4. Immediately mix the boiling water with the dry ingredients, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes
  5. Knead play dough by hand until fully mixed and ready to use
  6. If adding spices or glitter, add it after dough is fully mixed. Add a little at a time and knead until evenly mixed

DIY Play Dough

I have made quite a few variations in my play dough. For the fall, I add pumpkin spice to the dough when kneading for a fall-scent play. For the holidays, I like to add cinnamon or mint scents. For New Years, I made black play dough with star glitter I found at Michaels. When making black play dough, note that it only stays black for about a week or so. Then it slowly turns to a dark shade of green. This actually worked well for me—I made black for Halloween then kept the green for Christmas.

DIY Play Dough

I store my play dough in gallon-sized Ziploc bags, ensuring that all of the air is out of the bag.

Be sure to follow my Instagram, @missmskindergarten for more kindergarten fun!

Thanks again Meredith for sharing your recipe!  I can’t wait for the kids to have fun!