18 - 48 Months+

The perfect play dough recipe

Baby playing with dough at the kitchen counter

Around 15-18 months, your little one can be ready for play dough! Play dough offers more than just fun, sensory play. It builds fine motor skills and hand/finger strength. As your toddler gets older, they will start to use the dough in imaginary play – making balls, pretend food, people, and more.

Your toddler might be hesitant to touch the play dough at first or be confused by its texture. You can help by getting them more comfortable with it by showing how you poke, squish, and roll the dough. If they insist on not touching it, you can use popsicle sticks, cookie cutters and spoons to play with the dough.

Get started by making your own play dough


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Up to 1.5 cups boiling water (added in increments until the texture feels just right)
  • Food coloring and/or essential oils (optional)
  • A few drops of glycerin (optional; helps keep the dough from sticking to tables)


  • Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar, and vegetable oil in a large mixing bowl
  • Add food coloring or oils to the boiling water, and then slowly add the water to the
  • dry ingredients
  • Stir continuously until it comes together as a sticky dough, add the (optional) glycerin
  • Allow the dough to cool down, then take it out of the bowl and knead it vigorously for a few minutes until all of the stickiness is gone (this is an important part of the process, so keep at it until it’s the perfect consistency)
  • If the dough is still a little sticky, add a touch more flour until it’s just right

*Note: salt is toxic to dogs and can make them very sick! If you have one, please make sure they are safely out of the way until everything has been cleaned up.


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Posted in: 18 - 48 Months+, Playtime and Activities, Playtime & Activities

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