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.
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.
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.
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
Basic Recipes for Playdough
No-Cook No-Cream of Tartar Playdough
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Another easy recipe for playdough that smells amazing. This Kool-Aid playdough is easy to make and so smooth.
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
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 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.
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.