Easy Play Doh Recipe for Making Colorful, Non-Toxic Homemade Play Doh

Follow this easy play doh recipe and you'll have hours of fun things to do with kids and maybe a little time for yourself to relax, too 😉

In this article you'll not only find out how to make colorful, non-toxic homemade play doh, I'll also share with you a few fun ideas of what things to make of the play doh - thus turning this activity into an example of easy crafts for kids.

Also, the homemade play doh I'll share with you here is also preservable if it is kept in airtight containers.

So set aside a few hours, maybe on a weekend to enjoy this project. Another great benefit of this project of making homemade play doh is that there are several stages in it. So if your child is not that keen on just doing one thing for a long time, this might be a great activity with plenty of variation.

I'll try to write up the stages in this fun activity for kids in a way so that each stage in the play doh project becomes an activity in itself.

Homemade play doh recipe and ideas for animals to make out of play doh.

The Easy Play Doh Recipe

Finding the Ingredients for Homemade Play Doh

The first step is to gather all the ingredients for the play doh recipe. Your child can easily help you gather the different items you need from the cupboards and drawers.

In my quest for how to make plasticine, I searched the internet for the easiest, less-time consuming play doh recipe with the fewest ingredients. I found a few that didn't need cooking and I modified them slightly to suit what I had in the house. You can do the same.

Overall, what you need is: salt, water, flour, vegetable oil and natural food coloring.

Many play doh recipes also mention the use of cream of tartar to make it softer and to maintain its softness when preserved.

Besides not knowing what on earth cream of tartar was, I didn't have it in stock, so I did without it and it worked perfectly fine. So in my view, cream of tartar is not 'need to have', but it might be 'nice to have' - although again,  I wouldn't know.

Also olive oil was the only type of oil I had in stock, so that was the one I used.

Ingredients for homemade play doh: water, salt, vegetable oil, flour and fruit coloring.

The Easy Play Doh Recipe I Ended up Making Myself

The recipe is for ONE color only. As I had four different food colors available, I repeated this recipe four times, one for each color.

  • 1 dl of flour (I used wheat, but I'm sure other types would do fine, too)
  • 1/4 dl of salt (yes, it's very salty)
  • 1/2 dl of water
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (again, I used olive oil because that was what I had available)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of food coloring (maybe more, maybe less - I'll get to that in a bit)

Mixing the Play Doh Ingredients Together

Now this step in how to make plasticine is definetely one your kid will love. It's about getting all dirty with your hands 😉

I'm sure there is an ideal procedure in terms of which ingredients to put in first and mix together. However, we just sort of put it all in (except the coloring, we waited a bit with that) and knead it all together. That was my son's job!

After the ingredients had been kneaded for a while I decided to put in a few drops of green food coloring. As you can see on the pictures, a few drops isn't nearly enough to dye the whole dough.

Kneading green homemade play doh

Making green play doh at home with a very easy play doh recipe.

So we just continued adding a few drops until we were happy with the color.

A good lump of green play doh ready to be used.

A Small Note about the Coloring of the Homemade Play Doh

An interesting thing we discovered was that some colors seem to color more efficiently and 'true to their color' than others.

For instance, with the yellow coloring was easy, we only added about a teaspoon to get the desired effect. Maybe it didn't need so much coloring as the plain dough color is pretty close to yellow in the first place.

The green was also fairly easy to have coloring the play doh; maybe twice the amount as the yellow.

But then we were in for a big surprise with the red. For some strange reason the red was just absorbed by the dough leaving very little coloring effect on the dough. I can't remember how much we ended up putting in, maybe half the bottle, and still the red color was a bit, eh, not so red after all. You can judge for yourself in the picture below.

And the blue color also had a surprise installed for us. When looked at in itself the liquid is perfectly blue but when added to the dough, it turned more or less green, or maybe a dark turquoise. Very pretty and all, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it blue.

Homemade play doh in red, green, blue and yellow colors.

It wasn't that surprising that my son only had the patience for participating in kneading one play doh color.

So I ended up making the others, but calling him into the kitchen when the coloring of the dough began.

The color transformation for each color continued to create excitement!

A Few Play Doh Ideas:
- Fun and Cute Animals of Play Doh

If you go online and do a search for play doh ideas, you will find plenty of inspiration for things to make of your homemade play doh. Or you can just play along and do whatever you feel like.

Here are examples of a few animals we had fun creating:

A Cute Green Play Doh Worm or Bug

Cute green worm or bug made of homemade play doh.

This was my son's creation. For some reason he wasn't too happy about it. Maybe it was too cute. I, however, loved it and even saved it afterwards.

Below are a few of my own creations. They are not great art, but fun and very easy to make, thus ideal as easy crafts for kids.

A Yellow Play Doh Chicken

Easy play doh chicken to make at home.

A Red Play Doh Owl

Red owl made from a homemade play doh recipe.

A Green Play Doh Elephant

Cute green play doh elephant.

Storing and Preserving Homemade Play Doh

After you're done, you can disassemble the creations you don't want to keep forever and return each color to its own color: red to red, green to green etc. That is a fun task for the kids to do, too.

Then you'll need some airtight containers to store play doh in. I found some old breast milk containers from when I was breastfeeding and needed to freeze the milk so my parents could use it when babysitting.

Airtight containers to preserve homemade play doh for another good time.

These containers worked just fine. Anything will do really as long as its airtight. 

A week later I had a friend over with her kids, and we used the preserved play doh and it was still perfectly soft.

So go ahead and knock yourself out with this play doh recipe for homemade play doh and prepare for hours of fun. 

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