Hands-on learning is a lot more fun when it's squishy, smelly (in a good way!), and colorful. That's why these homemade playdough recipes are the perfect accompaniment for preschool and early elementary learning.
Homemade Playdough Recipe = Learning
Not only is it easy for kids to help make playdough at home, it reinforces preschool skills like measuring and fine motor skills control. To you, homemade playdough may seem like an inexpensive way to provide your kids with a natural, safe alternative to store-bought varieties (and they are!), but to your kids, these 100 playdough ideas are a recipe for fun!
100 Easy Homemade Playdough Recipes
Please note: Edible playdough recipes are indicated with an E.
Recommended Playdough Recipes aka Our Favorites!
1. Edible Green Playdough (E)
This playdough is perfect for Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, or any time of year. If you're watching the new Grinch movie, it's also perfect for that! We love it because it doesn't require cooking and doesn't need cream of tartar or salt. It can also be tinted any color!
Ingredients: Flour, Oatmeal, Water, Food Coloring
2. Marshmallow Play Dough (E)
One of our favorite things about this playdough is that it contains marshmallows! It is definitely sticky at first, so be prepared for your hands to get a little messy. But, it's so much fun to make you won't even care!
Ingredients: Marshmallows, Powdered Sugar, Water, Jell-O Mix
No Cook Homemade Playdough Recipes
It's beginning to feel a lot like fall with this no-cook, Autumn Scented Playdough (E) from Messy Little Monster.
Add natural elements into your calming playdough with this recipe for Lavender Playdough from Crafts on Sea.
Who needs heat when you can make homemade playdough out of sugar?! This DIY Solar System Playdough (E) from Look! We're Learning is perfect for a science lesson - and some cooking with kids!
Apple pie and playdough go hand in hand with this Apple Cinnamon Playdough Recipe (E) from Natural Beach Living. Trust us, like most playdoughs, it smells better than it tastes, but it is edible.
When it's the middle of winter and you're longing for summer, this Lemon-Scented Playdough (E) from Parenting Chaos is a great indoor activity option!
This Super Quick and Easy No-Cook Playdough from A Plus Teaching Resources definitely lives up to its name.
Not only does this Peanut Butter Playdough (E) recipe from Thrifty Jinxy not require cooking, it's also super easy (and tasty!) to make! It does contain peanut butter though, so if your child is allergic to nuts, it's a good idea to avoid this version.
If strawberries are more your thing, this Strawberry Ice Cream Playdough from The Soccer Mom Blog is going to be a sure hit!
Homemade Playdough Recipes Without Cream of Tartar and/or Without Salt
Need a quick rainy day activity, but don't have any cream of tartar on hand? This Cake Mix Playdough (E) from Messy Little Monster is easy to make and doesn't have any salt or cream of tartar!
Although this recipe from Crafty Moms Share is called No-Bake Craft Clay, it's more like playdough...and you do have to cook it. Sooo, the name might be a little off, but the ingredients are total fall fabulousness!
Break out the lotion, because this two-ingredient, Super-Soft Playdough Recipe from Artsy Fartsy Mama is so easy to make and so much fun to play with.
Candy Corn Playdough (E)? Yes, please! This easy homemade playdough recipe from More Than a Homeschool Mom is great for a fall or Halloween sensory-activity.
This easy DIY Playdough Recipe from The Simple Parent is a great no-cream of tartar alternative to some of the more traditional playdough recipes.
Did you know that you can use coffee grounds to make this Oatmeal Playdough (E) less sticky on your hands? Carrie from Crafty Moms Share also explains that you can use cornmeal, but coffee grounds sounds like my kind of DIY playdough recipe!
Learning and Exploring Through Play takes this No-Salt Playdough to a whole new level by including herbs and spices. It smells amazing!
No cooking and no cream of tartar are required in this yummy Gingerbread Playdough (E) from Natural Beach Living!
Get your princess crown on while playing with this Pink Princess Playdough recipe from Crayons and Cravings. There's no cream of tartar or salt in this recipe.
Super Easy Playdough definitely lives up to its name in this recipe by Jinxy Kids.
Extra soft, this 3 Ingredient Playdough recipe from A Dab of Glue Will Do is fun to play with.
How high can you make this Bouncing Playdough go? Check out this fun recipe from Darcy and Brian!
Marshmallow playdough? Yes, please! This fun Marshmallow Playdough (E) recipe from Blooming Brilliant is fun and tasty!
Chocolate Playdough sure smells yummy! Try this easy recipe from Crystal & Co. for some cocoa goodness!
This Gluten-Free Soap Playdough from Sugar, Spice & Glitter is an unusual take on this messy craft. The great thing is that your hands get clean (sort of!) while you play with it!
Unicorn Poop Playdough (E) from The Soccer Mom Blog is colorful, funny, and, disturbingly edible. Your little ones will get a kick out of eating "unicorn poop" during their preschool at home activities.
Holiday & Seasonal Playdough Recipes
Spring flowers add fun, natural pigment to traditional playdough recipes. This Dandelion Playdough from Parenting Chaos is a fun reason to pick the dandelions in your yard.
Perfect for St. Patrick's Day, this colorful, Rainbow Playdough from Messy Little Monsters even has glitter in it!
For a glitter-free rainbow option try this Colorful Playdough from Mama Smiles. You can make any shade of playdough you choose!
Nothing says summer like thick, juicy slices of watermelon! It's no wonder than this Watermelon Playdough (E) from Parenting Chaos is such a delightful summer activity!
Celebrate the first day of fall with this Fall Tree Playdough recipe and activity from Me and My Merbaby. It's a great sensory activity for toddlers and preschoolers.
This Maple Playdough from The Best Ideas for Kids is the perfect fall playdough recipe - it smells scrumptious!
If your idea of fall is all things pumpkin spice, this Pumpkin Spice Playdough recipe from Firefly Magic will smell like heaven!
This scrumptious smelling Gingerbread Playdough (E) from The Gingerbread House is sure to be a Christmas-time favorite.
Choose from four different Christmas Scented Playdough recipes in this post from In the Kids Kitchen. There's something for everyone!
Inspired Homemade Playdough Recipes
Mom knows best with this childhood-inspired DIY Playdough Recipe that uses gel-coloring instead of liquid food coloring. It's a less messy alternative from Artsy Fartsy Mama!
Does your child love the movie Moana? If so, this Moana Playdough from The Inspiration Edit is going to be a sure hit!
Inspired by recipes of old, this Basic Playdough Recipe from The Natural Homeschool is a tried and true DIY version!
Dragons Love Tacos serves as the inspiration for this Taco Playdough from JDaniel4's Mom.
The scents of fall are alive and well in these Fall Scented Playdough recipes from Real Life at Home.
Whether you're little one is a fan of The Little Mermaid or just mermaids in general, this Mermaid Playdough from Me and My Merbaby is the perfect combination of tactile and glittery fun.
Let the night sky be your muse with this sparkly Galaxy Playdough from Three Little Ferns.
Science experiments are always fun, but this Color Changing Playdough recipe from Parenting Chaos teaches as it delights! It's a great way to teach kids about Thermochromic pigments.
Camilla the Cupcake Fairy, a delightful children's book, is the inspiration for this super-soft Cupcake Playdough recipe from Artsy Momma.
Get inspired by butterflies with this Butterfly Play Dough Kit from Sugar, Spice & Glitter. It has everything you need to create beautiful butterflies and let your child's imagination soar.
Sometimes the best way to soothe anxiety or calm the nerves is to use aromatherapy. This Calming Lavender Playdough from Play Based Parenting not only helps keep kids busy, it also soothes their souls.
More Great Playdough Recipes
Watermelong Playdough for Counting | Sugar, Spice and Glitter
Spider Playdough | Fantastic Fun and Learning
Fairy Playdough | Laughing Kids Learn
Orange Scented Playdough | Natural Beach Living
Pudding Playdough | Simply Being Mom
Gluten Free Playdough | Intoxicated on Life
Vanilla Playdough | Red Ted Art
Worm Playdough | Fantastic Fun and Learning
Chamomile Playdough | Natural Beach Living
Gluten-Free Candy Cane Playdough | The Chaos and the Clutter
Hot Chocolate Playdough | Sugar, Spice and Glitter
Playdough Christmas Trees | Best Ideas for Kids
Peppermint Playdough | B-Inspired Mama
All Natural Playdough | All Things Mamma
Marshmallow Peeps Playdough | Natural Beach Living
Gingerbread Man Playdough | The Nerd's Wife
Kool Aid Playdough | Kids Activities
Chocolate Reindeer Playdough | Fantastic Fun and Learning
Landform Playdough | My Little Poppies
Playdough Circuits | Teach Beside Me
Playdough Fruit | Sugar, Spice and Glitter
No-Cook Strawberry Playdough | Natural Beach Living
Playdough Jack-o-Lanterns | B-Inspired Mama
Spring Chick Playdough | Fantastic Fun and Learning
Ocean Playdough | Kids Activities
Silky and Stretchy Playdough | Laughing Kids Learn
No-Cook Nutella Playdough | Still Playing School
Apple Cinnamon Playdough | Natural Beach Living
Peanut Butter Playdough | Raising Lifelong Learners
Thanksgiving Turkey Playdough | Fantastic Fun and Learning
Mud Playdough | Kids Activities
Human Anatomy Playdough | Teach Beside Me
Chocolate and Vanilla Playdough | Royal Baloo
Mint Playdough | Laughing Kids Learn
DIY Calm Down Playdough | My Little Poppies
Three Billy Goats Gruff Playdough | B-Inspired Mama
Atom Playdough | Tina's Dynamic Homeschool Plus
Dentist Playdough for Pretend Play | Fantastic Fun and Learning
Minion Banana Playdough | Natural Beach Living
Peeps Playdough | Still Playing School
Bathtime Playdough | Sugar, Spice and Glitter
Dairy-Free Playdough | Look! We're Learning
Edible Playdough | Kids Activities
Gingerbread Party Playdough | Royal Baloo
Flower Garden Playdough | Fantastic Fun and Learning
Easy Playdough | Rock Your Homeschool
Therapeutic Playdough | The Nerd's Wife
Robot Playdough | Fantastic Fun and Learning
Playdough Cookies | Sugar, Spice and Glitter
Sand Playdough | Natural Beach Living
No-Cook Cranberry Playdough | Natural Beach Living
Best Playdough | Cornerstone Confessions
Pumpkin Playdough | Raising Lifelong Learners
Butterfly Garden Playdough | Fantastic Fun and Learning
Valentine's Day Playdough Pops | Royal Baloo
Which playdough recipes will you be making today?! Snap a picture and share it with us by tagging us on Instagram @MamaTeaches! We'd love to see your play dough creations!
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