Playdough is one of our favourite sensory materials to use with kids. Alongside our sensory bins, this is something that we always have available for them throughout the year. Over the years we’ve brought playdough and found that it’s an expensive way to do it. Instead we have turned to making our own at home using these fantastic Easy Homemade Playdough Recipes.

From our no-cream of tartar recipe (first recipe below) that is ready in just 4 minutes to scented and stretchy Jell-O playdough (in the section on scented playdough). Here are our favourite recipes for homemade playdough that you too can make at home.

homemade playdough on a table with colourful cookie cutters and a white rolling pin text read Easy Homemade Playdough Recipes

Playdough Recipes to Make for Kids

I don’t know about you, but playdough whenever we get it out ALWAYS gets turned into a brown clump. The beautiful vibrant colours that we start with get mixed together as our children knead we’re left with a mess.

playing with play dough
playdough play

Then it gets left on the side and dries out wasting lots of money as we have to restock.

Instead, homemade playdough means that you can make just enough. It’s made with common kitchen ingredients it’s so easy. From edible playdough for your tot that puts everything in their mouth to some to help with homework here are our favourite recipes for kids.

toddler playing with playdough and cookie cutters

How to Colour Playdough

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First off, our 2 basic recipes. Coloured using food colouring – liquid produces a paler colour and the gels a much brighter colour you can make a rainbow of colours

Our favourite food colourings are – this one for liquid food colouring and this gel one.

Baby playing with homemade play dough on a high chair tray

Basic Recipes for Playdough

No-Cook No-Cream of Tartar Playdough

Easy Homemade playdough in child's hands with a text overlay in a circle reading Homemade Easy playdough recipe

Our easy homemade playdough recipe uses no cream of tartar it’s no-cook and so simple to make. Ready in just minutes you can’t beat this and it’s especially great for Rainy Days.

Edible Playdough

balls of bright coloured edible playdough on a white granite surface with text reading How to Make Edible Play Dough

We used this edible playdough recipe for years as our youngest would put everything in their mouth. Yes, I mean everything and eat it. Made with just 2 ingredients this is easy to make but it doesn’t last long as it is edible.

Scented Playdough Recipes

Sensory play that involves more than just sight and touch is great. These selection of playdough recipes involve scent and are amazing.

Chocolate Playdough

toddler playing with a cookie cutter in some homemade chocolate scented playdough text to the right reads Toddler and Preschool simple sensory play Homemade Chocolate Playdough Recipe rainydaymum.co.uk

This recipe for homemade chocolate playdough is amazing. Using the basic playdough recipe, add chocolate to make a coloured and scented playdough. My kids loved this for tea parties, pretend baking and throughout the winter months.

2-Ingredient Apple Scented Playdough

3 apples and a ball of green playdough on a wooden board with a text overlay reading 2 Ingredient apple scented playdough

Made with just 2 ingredients from your kitchen this apple scented playdough is our favourite for end of summer and early autumn activities. We make a ball of green and a ball of red and then have so much fun using playdough mats and cookie cutters as well as forming letters on our alphabet letter mats.

Autumn Spice Playdough

ball of orange playdough with oak leaves and horse and sweet chesnuts around on a white background

Perfect for some fall and autumn sensory play this autumn spice playdough recipe reminds you of apple and pumpkin pie spices as well as warm fires. We use it for mark making, sensory play and for pretend baking often alongside the chocolate recipe above.

Jell-O Playdough

a stack of rainbow coloured playdough balls on a white white table with a wooden rolling pin, metal cookie cutters and a packet of berry blue jell-o behind

With as many flavours and colours as there are boxes of flavoured Jell-o, this recipe for Jell-o playdough is so versatile. We love how smooth it is, possibly the closest we have made to store-bought playdough and the scents are strong. If you are in the UK then we switch out the Jell-o for Hartleys Jelly Packets (not the cubes) and it works just as well.

Kool-Aid Playdough

kool-aid packets beside purple playdough with a metal heart inside a bubble. Beside the text reads How to Make Kool-Aid Playdough for sensory play with kids

Another easy recipe for playdough that smells amazing. This Kool-Aid playdough is easy to make and so smooth.

Blackberry Playdough

Blackberry Playdough

Made with real fruit juice this easy homemade blackberry playdough recipe is great to make after a blackberry picking trip. Yes, it’s messy but the squishing and squeezing is fantastic for helping your little ones to develop their muscles for writing.

Christmas Scented Playdough

child playough with gingerbread playdough on a christmas table mat adding buttons to play doh gingerbread men

Nothing quite says Christmas like gingerbread and our simple recipe for gingerbread playdough is Christmas in a tub. Make some gingerbread men with cookie cutters provide buttons and pipe cleaners and let your child create their own play gingerbread cookies that smell like the real thing.

If you Love Playdough – Check out our Salt Dough

Playdough is great for sensory play and although it does dry out it takes a while and it’s not the best material for homemade clay instead you need to use this!

Salt dough with hearts cut out on a green chopping board

Salt dough is fantastic, it’s easy to make and can be dried in the microwave, oven or air dried. You can colour it or scent it as well. Check out of best Salt dough Recipes for kids or our classic salt dough recipe for how to make and then oven-dry your own salt dough creations.

child playing with playdough in the centre with arrow down and text reading save money on playdough easy recipes to make yourself
Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

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