Easy Classic Homemade Cooked Playdough Recipe

Confession: I only let my kids use homemade playdough when they were young. Commercial dough scents gave me a headache, and I hated cleaning it up. My classic homemade cooked playdough recipe has always been my favorite. It’s soft and squishy, perfect for all ages to play with. Homemade playdough is not just for kids!

Photo collage of homemade playdough use pictures, with text overlay.

Why Make Homemade Playdough?

Homemade playdough has a few benefits over commercial versions.

  • The soft natural scent of homemade playdough is so much more pleasant than the smell of commercial dough.
  • It is easier to clean from surfaces, especially carpet. Dried dough will dissolve easily with water and soap and not stick in carpet threads.
  • You can customize your DIY playdough color to anything you choose with food coloring. Plus, this part can be a great color-mixing lesson for kids!
  • Homemade playdough is cheap and easy to make, and doesn’t require a trip to the store.

One of the upsides is also a bit of a downside. Because it contains no preservatives, it can’t be used indefinitely. It should last a few weeks if stored in an airtight container.

Rabbit and snail made from homemade playdough.

Is this an Edible Playdough Recipe?

I’ll admit to having tasted it as a kid.

Technically, this homemade cooked playdough is safe if eaten. It uses standard non-toxic kitchen ingredients and is cooked. But I certainly wouldn’t recommend eating it on purpose. It’s not delicious and would probably give you a giant bellyache if you ate a lot of it.

It is not meant to be eaten, and I would recommend supervision if your child is prone to putting things in their mouths.

Cutting star shape from DIY Playdough.

3 balls of multicolored homemade playdough.

Simple DIY Playdough Recipe

Yield: 1 batch
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Active Time: 7 minutes
Additional Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 11 minutes
Difficulty: 1-easy
Estimated Cost: under $5

A classic homemade playdough recipe that makes soft, smooth dough kids will love to use. This homemade cooked playdough is simple and inexpensive. Great for all ages to squish and play!


  • 1c all-purpose flour
  • 1c warm water
  • 1/2c salt
  • 1T Cream of Tartar
  • 1T oil
  • Food coloring as desired


  • small saucepan
  • wooden spoon


  1. Mix first 5 ingredients in saucepan.
  2. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until ingredients are liquid.

    Liquid cooked DIY playdough ingredients in saucepan.
  3. Add food coloring as soon as mixture reaches liquid state. Keep stirring to disperse color evenly.
  4. Mixture will quickly form a soft dough. Remove from heat.

    Cooked DIY playdough in saucepan.
  5. No kneading is required, but squishing a few times after removing cooked playdough from the pan is recommended.

    Hand squishing teal homemade cooked playdough.
  6. Store in airtight contaner once playdough is cooled.


The cooking process happens quickly (approximately 5 minutes, total). Keep stirring and do not try to multitask.

Opening the food coloring bottles in advance can be helpful, have them ready as soon as the mixture becomes liquid.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment or share a photo and tag me @carlaschauerdesigns

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