How to make Play Dough (salt free)

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Recommend for: Cognitive, Fine Motor, Baby, Toddler,

Categories: Sensory

Summary: When children play with play dough they often squeeze and stretch it, as well as poke, twist, pound and roll. This is crucial in the development of their sense of touch and fine motor skills.

Play dough offers many creative possibilities and can be lots of fun for children (and adults). Parents/carers can sit down with young children and show them different ways to manipulate play dough, and encourage them to play with it themselves. Talking with the children about the texture of the play dough can assist their language development.

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • ½ cup oil
  • Food colouring
  • Water


  1. Add the oil to the flour and mix thoroughly.
  2. Mix food colouring with water.
  3. Add and mix in enough of the water to make a soft dough.
  4. For an extra kick you can add nutmeg or cinnamon, or food essences such as peppermint or lemon

The advantages of making a home made play dough are its texture and thickness, which you can adjust to your children’s liking, the natural ingredients, as well as the fact that the children can participate in making it.


Never made play doh nice and smooth very easy to make


If your out of salt and cream of tartar , this recipe is great . It's nice and smooth and pretty easy to work with . However you can't expect traditional play dough quality from a recipe that's missing 2 of the main ingredients in play dough .


I made this for my students for a measurement activity on Wednesday night. It looked fine. When I went to use it on Friday, it was a ball of dough sitting in a nasty puddle of oil. Ugh. I blotted it with far too many paper towels, but it was still horrible.


Really easy to make. I substituted the oil with coconut lol. Felt really nice to play with and tour happy kids! Much better then using salt.


WOW, my first time making it for my 2.5yr old. He enjoyed helping mix (literally this is done in 5mins!) & is hours of play fun.
I like the no salt, as it doesn't leave your hands feeling dry & cracked.
I divided the quantity in half, & it was plenty big enough to play with. Just add ONE tablespoon of water at a time, mixing well between ea addition. I put some drops of essential oils to make it smell great. Will defiantly be making this again!


Way too sticky!


The kids I was babysitting liked it but it was way to sticky with 1/2 cup of water so I had to add a lot of flour


This recipe is perfect!! I only added a tablespoon of water first off and it was more of a moon sand consistency...then I added about a half cup of more water and colouring and it was lovely and soft! Thanks so much. =)

Spooky the cat

I tried it but it was SUPER oily it like ozes oil


This is such an easy recipe for playdough and it's one of the best recipes I've tried. I used a mixer to combine the flour, oil and food colouring and gradually added water until it came together. Perfect consistency and my four year old loved helping to make it.

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