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3 Ingredient Play Dough Recipe

There are many homemade play dough recipes to make a super fun dough to play with at home. This 3 Ingredient Play Dough recipe is unique in that it contains no cream of tartar. Whip up a quick batch of play dough with just 3 ingredients you probably already have sitting in your home right now.

how to make play dough

In the last couple of months I’ve shared a few play dough recipes. From edible play dough to homemade play dough, there’s a play dough for everyone.

Play Dough Recipes

There are so many ways you can make play dough. In fact, I’ve shared a lot of different play dough recipes so that you can make it at home with your children.

When it comes to choosing the right play dough recipe, it’s all about personal preference. Making a batch of play dough shouldn’t be a complicated process. Here are some other play dough recipes to choose from:

Making Play Dough

The best part of making play dough is all the memories you’ll make with the kids. If your children are younger and still like to put things in their mouth, choose a taste-safe, no cook play dough recipe. For older kids, you can choose any play dough recipe.

play dough recipes

When we making play dough at home, I let my children lead the charge. They are older so it’s easy to be able to trust them when it comes to cooking play dough. If you aren’t there with your children yet, making play dough is a great opportunity to allow them help you. Even if you mess up a batch you’re only out pennies. This stuff is pretty cheap to make.

Tip: We have a gas stove and when my kids were younger I hated them being near the open flame. So instead of using our gas stove to make play dough, we use a portable stove. Not only does it come in handy for making play dough, it’s great when we need an extra burner when cooking for the holidays. They don’t make the one I use anymore, but this one is the replacement for the one I have.

How Do You Make Play Dough

If you’ve never made play dough, the thought of making play dough may overwhelm you. But what if I told you that making play dough was so easy? Well, it is easy, y’all. Really easy!

3 ingredient play dough recipes

Whether you’re making a play dough you need to cook or a no-cook play dough, I think you’ll find that either option is incredibly simple. Make sure to look at the list of play dough recipes above and choose one that works for you.

Different recipes require different methods. But the short of it is that when you combine certain ingredients, they come together and create a perfectly playable dough. Some doughs last longer than others and some doughs are taste-safe (depending on its ingredients). It’s important to experiment to find the play dough your family likes best.

3 Ingredient Play Dough Recipe

Like the title suggests, this play dough recipe only requires 3 ingredients. Just using the 3 ingredients will leave you with a perfect white play dough. If you want to add color to your play dough, you’ll need to add food coloring as a 4th ingredient.

how to make play dough

You could also add a scent with spices or essential oils if you wanted to make it smell good. I love adding essential oils and spices to play dough. Check out my Pumpkin Pie Play Dough or Apple Pie Play Dough for examples of adding spices to play dough.

Play Dough Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • food coloring (optional)
  • spices or essential oils (optional)

How to Make Play Dough

There is a printable tutorial available at the end of this post.

In a measuring cup, add food coloring (if not adding color just skip to the next step) to water and stir to combine. The amount of food coloring to use is totally up to you. The brightness will depend on the kind of food coloring you use. Set aside.

how to make play dough

Pour corn starch and baking soda into a sauce pan and then stir to combine.

how to make homemade play dough

Next, pour in the water and stir really well to make sure all the ingredients are mixed together. Keep stirring until all of the lumps are gone.

homemade play dough recipe

Turn the burner on low to medium heat and stir without stopping. As you stir you will notice the dough getting thicker and lumpy again. Keep stirring until the dough starts to stick to whatever you are stirring with. Once it sticks together like one big blob, you know it’s done.

homemade play dough recipes

Remove the play dough from the pan and turn onto a flat surface lined with wax or parchment paper to cool. Be careful. The play dough will be VERY hot at this point. Let it cool for 5 – 10 minutes.

making play dough

Once the play dough is cooled and comfortable to the touch, knead the play dough with your hands for a couple of minutes to work out any remaining lumps.

how to make play dough

How to Store Play Dough

As I’m sure you can imagine, we’ve accumulated a lot of play dough. Some of it lasts longer than others and I had to find a way to store it all.

At first I was just using plastic bags lined up on the counter, in the homeschool room, in the pantry, just anywhere we had room. But then a curious little cat began to notice and started tearing open the bags.

how to make play dough

Then I moved on to plastic containers, like the kind you get when you buy lunch meat. They work just perfectly but they’re just not that pretty. I still use them, but there is another option that I’ve been experimenting with.

You know those little glass jars that are at the Dollar Spot at Target? They aren’t there all the time but when they are I always pick up a few. You can also check out the sales at Hobby Lobby when glass is 50% off. I’ve picked up some cute glass jars there, too.

how to store the best homemade play dough recipe

If you’re children are young, I’d stick with plastic bags or plastic containers for now. You’ll be able to graduate to the glass jars when they’re a little older.

I find that the play doughs that require salt last much longer than the others. I have some batches that have lasted for over 6 months.

Note: Make sure your children wash their hands before playing. I’ve found that this really prolongs the life of the play dough.

Play Dough Playing Tips

There are so many fun ways to play with play dough. We like to use letter stamps, rollers, cookie cutters, etc. There really isn’t a right or wrong way to play with play dough. I’m all about imaginative play so we like playing with different kinds of tools, molds, stamps, etc.

how to play with play dough

If you don’t have any play tools, using different things from your kitchen works just as well. But if you’re on the hunt for some play dough play tools, this set includes 44 pieces and is a good assortment of play tools. This set from Melissa & Doug is also a great option.

Alex Art Wooden Dough Tools SetAlex Art Wooden Dough Tools SetBuy Now!Melissa & Doug Cut, Sculpt, RollMelissa & Doug Cut, Sculpt, RollBuy Now!44-piece Play Dough Tools44-piece Play Dough ToolsBuy Now!Smart Dough Tools KitSmart Dough Tools KitBuy Now!

There are so many possibilities when playing with homemade play dough. Make sure you pin this to your favorite Pinterest board so that you won’t lose this perfect play dough recipe.

how to make homemade play dough

Before you head out, check out these other fun activities you can do with the kids:

HOMEMADE SIDEWALK PAINT

how to make homemade sidewalk paintSHAVING CREAM BATH PAINT

how to make Shaving Cream Bath Paint using just two ingredients

3 Ingredient Play Dough Recipe

Yield: 1 big batch of 3 Ingredient Play Dough
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Active Time: 3 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Materials

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • food coloring (optional)
  • spices or essential oils (optional)

Tools

  • 2 quart saucepan

Instructions

  1. In a measuring cup, add food coloring (if not adding color just skip to the next step) to water and stir to combine. The amount of food coloring to use is totally up to you. The brightness will depend on the kind of food coloring you use. Set aside.
  2. Pour corn starch and baking soda into a sauce pan and then stir to combine.
  3. Next, pour in the water and stir really well to make sure all the ingredients are mixed together. Keep stirring until all of the lumps are gone.
  4. Turn the burner on low to medium heat and stir without stopping. As you stir you will notice the dough getting thicker and lumpy again. Keep stirring until the dough starts to stick to whatever you are stirring with. Once it sticks together like one big blob, you know it’s done.
  5. Remove the play dough from the pan and turn onto a flat surface lined with wax or parchment paper to cool. Be careful. The play dough will be VERY hot at this point. Let it cool for 5 – 10 minutes.
  6. Once the play dough is cooled and comfortable to the touch, knead the play dough with your hands for a couple of minutes to work out any remaining lumps.
About Crystal

Crystal Reagan, the owner and founder of SimplyBeingMommy.com lives in Small Town, Texas with her husband and 3 children. Crystal and her website have been featured on local and national news stations including Channel 2 Houston and ABC News. She has also appeared on BetterTV as a Mommy Expert for VTech.

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