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Playdough Recipe and Activity Ideas

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This is the recipe that we use in nursery. We cook our dough however there are some non-cook dough recipes available online. The children love making this with us in school so they will be expert helpers at home! Playdough is a great play activity for strengthening finger muscles and for developing fine motor skills.


Playdough Recipe

1 and a half pounds of flour

1/2 pound of salt

8 tablespoons of cream of tartar

1 and a half pints of water

2 tablespoons of cooking oil


You can add some food colouring if you would like a certain colour (not essential).




1. Weigh out all ingredients using scales.

2. Add your dry ingredients first- flour, salt and cream of tartar.

3. Next add your wet ingredients- water, oil and food colouring if desired.

4. Mix as you add.


Now its time for the Adult job:

5. Cook the mixture on a low heat and continuously stir the pot.
6. When the mixture is nearly solid and becoming hard to stir, tip out onto a chopping board as food colouring may stain your counter. The mixture will be very hot so be careful.

7. Knead the mixture until it resembles soft playdough. Add additional flour if it is a bit sticky.

8. Leave to cool before playing with it. Have fun! :)





When your playdough is ready, please don't worry about needing lots of playdough tools and cutters at home. The children usually love playing with the dough by itself- rolling it, stretching it and exploring how it feels.


Why not look around the house and see what you can find? In school we add feathers, buttons, children's knives and forks, straws, shells, pipe cleaners, real baking trays etc.



Here are some links to additional online playdough resource ideas:




Information on the benefits of playdough play: