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Homemade Playdough Without Cream of Tartar: 7 No Cook Recipes

Looking to whip up a quick batch of playdough for your kiddos without cream of tartar or any other fancy ingredients?

These 7 recipes are all variations of easy, no cook playdough without cream of tartar. It doesn’t get any simpler than this!

Most of these recipes only use 3 or 4 main ingredients – some variation of flour, water, vegetable oil and salt- with the option to add food colouring or powdered tempera paint for colour.

There is even a toddler and baby safe oat recipe, as well as one for edible peanut butter playdough at the end.

There are so many benefits of playdough, it’s a must-have in your house and classroom.

Don’t forget to involve your child in following the recipes as this is a great opportunity to work on following directions and discovering science concepts.

You’ll also be teaching your child maths as you learn about measuring ingredients.

There are many ways to make playdough. Each will have a different texture and feel, and some last longer than others. 

Try these out…

how to make homemade no bake playdough pinterest image

Basic Homemade Playdough Without Cream of Tartar

This is a malleable dough that is quick and easy to make. [Richardson: 2012]

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • Food colouring

Instructions:

  • Mix the flour, vegetable oil and salt together in a bowl.
  • Add a drop or two of food colouring to the water (watch how it mixes with the water).
  • Add water slowly as you mix the dough to the desired consistency (Only use what you need).
  • Store: in a sealed container.
little girl playing with blue playdough

Basic No Cook Playdough

This soft playdough recipe is another variation of a basic, no cook playdough. This makes a good, reusable, all-purpose dough. [Hendrick: 1990]

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • ¼  cup salt
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • dry tempera or food colouring
  • 1 cup water

Instructions:

  • Mix the salt, flour and dry tempera.
  • If using tempera, add it to the dry ingredients first; If using food colouring, add it to the water.
  • Mix oil and ¾ cup water and add to the dry ingredients. 
  • Mix and add more water if necessary, taking care not to let the mixture get sticky. 
  • Store: in the refrigerator in a sealed container. 

Using oil makes this dough softer and more pliable. It also protects the hands from the drying effects of salt.

Cornstarch Playdough

This recipe uses cornstarch to make the playdough extra soft. [Kuffner: 2008]

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • Tempera powder or food colouring
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Instructions:

  • Mix the water, salt, oil and tempera paint or food colouring (enough to make it bright).
  • Gradually add flour and cornstarch until the mixture forms the consistency of bread dough.
  • Store: covered.
colorful homemade playdough

No Bake Salt Dough

This simple salt dough does not need to be baked in the oven after moulding as it will last a little while when stored well.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons food colouring

Instructions:

  • Mix the flour, salt, vegetable oil and food colouring together.
  • Add the water slowly until the mixture is smooth.
  • Store: in a sealed container.
painting a house made out of playdough

Baked Salt Dough for Art

This is the best playdough recipe to turn into an art project later. [Natanson: 1998]

This dough can be moulded into shapes (by hand or with cookie cutters) and baked in the oven, to be painted and decorated later. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup salt

Instructions:

  • Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Add water gradually.
  • Mix together and knead until the mixture becomes pliable.
  • Mould into shapes or use cookie cutters.
  • Bake in an oven on low heat for up to an hour.
  • Paint and decorate the shapes.
  • Optional: seal with clear varnish to make it last much longer.
little toddler playing with homemade playdough

Oatmeal Playdough

This toddler and baby-safe playdough is not intended to be eaten but is safe for those inevitable bites your little one will take out of it. [Kuffner: 2008]

It is not as long lasting as the cooked version but is so quick and easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups oatmeal

Instructions:

  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Mix well and knead until smooth. 
  • Store: in the refrigerator in a sealed container. 
child playing with playdough

Edible Peanut Butter Playdough

This edible playdough is delicious and easy to make. [Kuffner: 2008]

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups peanut butter
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • Milk flour/ dry milk
  • Cocoa or carob (optional)
  • Edible treats for decoration

Instructions:

  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Add enough dry milk to reach the consistency of bread dough.
  • Add cocoa or carob for a chocolate taste if desired. 
  • Shape the dough and decorate with treats to eat!

I hope you like these no cook, easy playdough recipes (without cream of tartar). 

Searching for more recipes to make with your littlies? Try these cooking activities.


Would you like a year of done-for-you, ten-minute activities to teach your 3-5-year-old through play? Get your copy of the Learning Through Play Activity Pack for only $27.

Activity Pack for preschoolers

Sources:

Richardson, A. 2012. Toddler Sense: Understanding your toddler’s sensory world – the key to a happy, well-balanced child. Metz Press: Welgemoed.

Hendrick, H. 1990. Total Learning: Developmental Curriculum for the Young Child. Third Edition. Macmillan Publishing Company: New York.

Kuffner, K. 2008. The Toddler’s Busy Book. Meadowbrook Press : Minnesota.

Natanson, J. 1998. Learning Through Play: A parent’s guide to the first five years. Tafelberg Publishers Limited: Cape Town.

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