How to Make Homemade Playdough

Child's hand holding homemade playdough and stack of natural playdough
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Making Homemade Playdough

If you’re looking for a fun activity you can do with your kids, consider making homemade playdough. It’s easy to make and lets your kids express their creativity.

It also only requires a few simple and natural ingredients, so you can feel good knowing your kids are playing with something that won’t harm them.

Related: Awesome Wooden Toys Your Kids Will Love

What’s Inside Store-Bought Playdough?

Kids love playing with playdough. And who can blame them? It’s fun to squish around, mold into different shapes, and smash together.

While playdough seems pretty harmless, many store-bought brands contain some nasty ingredients you might not want your kids playing with.

Related: How to Help Your Kids Have a More Sustainable Summer

Some brands of playdough are made with borax. There’s some debate in the natural living world about borax. While it’s a natural mineral, it’s also an effective ingredient in homemade ant pesticide.

Since borax is used as a pesticide, I choose not to use it around my family. That’s why I make homemade dishwasher detergent without borax, and it’s why I prefer making homemade playdough for my son to play with.

Related: 25+ Easy-to-Make DIY Natural Cleaning Products

How to Make Homemade Playdough

Stack of homemade play dough

If you’re interested in living a more natural life and making sure the toys your children play with are safe and non-toxic, you’ll be pleased to know it’s very easy to make homemade playdough.

Related: The Best Eco-Friendly Gifts for Kids

Homemade Playdough Ingredients

Homemade Playdough Directions

  1. Combine the flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a saucepan.
  2. Slowly stir in the water and oil.
  3. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the dough begins to thicken.
  4. Once the dough forms a ball, remove from heat.
  5. When the dough is cool enough to touch, knead until it’s smooth.
  6. Divide the dough into balls for how many colors you want to make.
  7. Add a few drops of your homemade natural dye to each ball. If you don’t have enough time to make your own, this is a good natural dye to use.
  8. Knead the dough again to mix in the color. You might want to use gloves to keep the dye from staining your skin.
  9. If desired, add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to give the homemade playdough some scent.
  10. Store the dough in an airtight container or bag to help it stay fresh.

Essential Oils and Homemade Playdough

The one thing I like about this playdough is that it doesn’t have a scent, which is great for kids who are sensitive to smells. It’s also good for young kids who tend to stick everything in their mouths. Plus, it means you can customize the dough to have any scent you want.

Child holding green homemade play dough in hands

When you use essential oils to add a scent to the playdough, your children will be able to inhale the fragrance and reap its benefits every time they play with it.

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Since my son can get a little rowdy, my absolute favorite essential oil to use is lavender. Letting him play with this playdough right before bed is a great way to help him wind down and naturally fall asleep.

Here are a few other excellent essential oil combinations you can consider:

Peace and Calm


Wake Up

Feel Better

Get Creative

Homemade Playdough

If you want to give your children a toy that’s safe, nontoxic, and can help expand their creativity, making homemade playdough is an excellent option. The next time you plan on making this playdough, invite your kids into the kitchen and see what types of colors and scents they can create.

More Eco-Friendly Tips

Now that you see how easy it is to make homemade playdough, are you ready for even more eco-friendly and natural living tips? Then be sure to check out some of our other popular posts:

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