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Grandma’s Homemade Play Dough Recipe

Homemade Play Dough

What’s a mom, or dad, or grandparent, or caretaker to do when it’s too darn cold to let the kiddos outside to play?  Make play dough!  That’s what.

It’s almost day 3 of subzero temps here in southwest Wisconsin and we’re starting to get a little squirrely and it’ll be day 2 of no school tomorrow because of the cold.

For the most part, my older two leave me alone to do my work. But our youngest still wants some attention or something to do and cleaning her room wasn’t quite what she had in mind.

So we made play dough.  Fun, vibrant colors that just warm my heart hoping it will warm up the outside as well.

Homemade Play Dough

My kids have always loved play dough and my step-mom always made it for them when they were little and would visit her and my dad.  She sent the bag of squishiness home with them even though they had cans of store bought dough at home.  Yet, for some reason, grandma’s play dough was way better than any store bought can around. I’m thinking it’s because Grandma made it with lots of love.

So if you are looking for something to keep the kids occupied while you are cooped up inside, try this easy play dough recipe and let the creative juices flow.

Grandma's Homemade Play Dough

We made a double recipe so we could have plenty to play with but a single batch would be enough for 1 or 2 kids to share. The cream of tartar makes the dough last longer so if you don’t have it on hand, you can omit it.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


1 cup water
½ cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup flour
Various food coloring


1. Combine the water, oil, salt, and cream of tartar, in a saucepan and heat until warm over low heat.
2. Turn off the heat and add flour.
3. Stir, then knead until smooth.
4. Divide dough into bowls for the number of colors you want.
5. Add a few drops of food coloring and stir into dough with a spoon. Knead in with hands once it has been started to be worked in. Dough will be warm so you may need to let it cool before handling.
6. Play with your play dough.
7. Store in an airtight container.

Grandma Pudge


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