No Bake DIY Play Dough: Super Simple Recipe

simple play dough

Making things with a toddler means needing a super simple recipe. I searched through Google the other day, attempting to find an easy play dough recipe I could make with my daughter but all I kept finding were either recipes that required the use of heat elements or cream of tartar, which we didn’t have in the cupboard.

Finally, I came across PBS‘ version. It’s called “Galactic Glitter Play Dough”, but we opted out of the glitter part for obvious reasons. We also tweaked the recipe for our own needs.

Here’s the recipe we came up with, based on theirs:


  • Large metal mixing bowl (metal so it doesn’t get dyed)
  • 1 cup water (give or take)
  • 4 cups flour
  • 4-8 tablespoons of cooking oil (the original recipe calls for 2-4, but we didn’t think it was nearly enough. The dough was too flaky. So we added double the amount)
  • 1.5 cups salt
  • 10-15 drops food coloring (more for brighter colors)


  1. Start by pouring the water into the metal bowl. Then, add your food coloring and mix it together well.
  2. Slowly add dry ingredients (flour and salt) to the water, mixing as you go.
  3.  Begin adding the oil to the semi-mixed product. This ingredient is why this no-bake version of play dough stays soft. If you don’t have enough oil, you will notice your dough will be very dry and crumbly. Add a little more here and there if you feel you need to. Should you add too much, throw in a tad bit more flour
  4.  Knead everything together as you would bread dough and watch it all transform before your eyes.

You can add whatever you want to introduce a variety of colors and scents. I really like to add orange essential oil to our because it smells fantastic and has a calming feel only a mother can truly appreciate.

Have fun with it! For storage, an airtight container works. Of course it won’t last forever, but you will get a few uses out of it. It’s more about the process than actually using the product.

3 thoughts on “No Bake DIY Play Dough: Super Simple Recipe

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