One Pot Playdough Recipe

I’ve tested a lot of different playdough recipes – cooked and uncooked, scented and not… but this one is my hands-down favorite because it comes out bright and squishy every time. The one pot playdough recipe requires a few minutes of stovetop cooking, but I promise it’s worth the step.  Most squishy no-cook playdough recipes call for boiling water anyway, so it’ll save you a dirty bowl!

Let’s get cookin’!

The playdough recipe makes a big enough batch to give 3 or 4 kids a large ball – plenty to let their imaginations run wild.

One Pot Playdough Recipe

To prep, I pulled out our largest pot, measuring cups and the playdough recipe ingredients:

  • 3 cups of flour (You can substitute with gluten free flour if you’d like.)
  • 3/4 cups of salt
  • 6 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Gel food coloring (The gel variety is a little pricier but the colors come out brighter.)
  • 3 cups of water

My boys helped me measure the dry ingredients first. We poured the flour, salt and cream of tartar into the pot and mixed well. We added the water and vegetable oil next, stirring until the clumps were gone.

One pot playdough recipe for kids

Next came my boys’ favorite step: adding food coloring. They always have lengthy conversations about what color to make the playdough and their decision is different almost every time. This round, they picked purple. I grabbed the gel food coloring and squeezed in about a teaspoonful of red and half a teaspoon of blue. (When we’re making secondary colors, I always put in twice as much of the lighter colored gel so that the darker gel doesn’t overpower it.)

Playdough Recipe - One Pot

After stirring well, I placed the pot on the stove and started cooking it on medium heat. The boys watched as I continuously stirred the playdough with a spatula.

A few minutes later, the goopy mixture had transformed into a squishy mound of playdough. I dumped the playdough onto a sheet of wax paper and let it cool several minutes before kneading it well.  Our playdough recipe turned out great!

Homemade Playdough Recipe

Viola! Our fresh batch of playdough was ready for play. The kids eagerly started squeezing, cutting and molding their ball.

Find More Playdough Activities

For more playdough fun, make a batch of glow-in-the-dark playdough and check out our roundup of 100 free playdough mats!

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  1. Teresa

    I don’t have vegetable oil on hand, but I do have coconut oil. If I melt it do you think it would be an ok substitute for the vegetable oil?

  2. jason blair

    A printable version would certainly be helpful.

    • Ashley

      Thank you for the suggestion.
      We’ll look into adding a printable version.
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador



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Hi, I’m Malia.

I LOVE helping Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade teachers save time, stay inspired and give EVERY student bigger results. I’m so glad you’re here!