Simple Play Dough Recipe

Play dough is a brilliantly versatile play tool that suits a variety of ages. We’ve done a whole heap of activities using our homemade dough, from ‘baking’ cookies to aiding spelling practice.

It’s so simple to make that you won’t even need to bother with the shop bought version again. What’s more, you can adapt the recipe to suit your theme.

You will need:

– 2 cups of plain white flour

– ½ cup of salt

– 2tbsp cream tartar

– 2 tbsp olive oil

– 2 cups of water (to be added gradually)


  • Add all of the ingredients to a food processor, with the exception of the water. At first the mixture will almost look like breadcrumbs.
  • Pour water into the mix as the final part of the process.
  • Add up to 2 cups of water GRADUALLY.
  • Store in an airtight container.

This recipe will make a very basic play dough recipe, but to jazz it up add food colouring, food essence, glitter or even glycerine. Just be mindful to adjust the water quantity accordingly.

Themes to try:

vaentines dough
Valentine’s dough made with rose petals, rosewater and pink food colouring
Mix colours together to form a marble dough.
gingerbread dough.jpg
Ginger cookies made this dough smell delicious! We used the dough as part of a re-telling of ‘The Gingerbread Man.’
easter dough.jpg
Match your dough to the season. We made chocolate and lemon dough for Easter. 


Activities to try:

Manipulate the play dough to spell words. This is also great for developing fine motor skills. 
Use dough stampers for initial phonics sounds or spellings
dough cakes.jpg
Rolling dough to make ‘cakes’ is another way to develop fine motor skills.
Dough can be used for role play. Here we made ‘cookies’ to sell in our Easter themed bakery. 


I hope that you will try some (or all!) of these dough themes at home with your children. Please comment below if you have any other suggestions for themes. Don’t forget to check in with our Instagram feed for daily updates. 

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