Nancy’s Favourite Playdoh Recipe!

Nancy’s Favourite Playdoh Recipe!

The Recipe:


Nancy’s Favourite Playdoh Recipe

This was emailed to me by my friend Nancy, a fellow American here in Edinburgh, a born entertainer, her grand children are among the luckiest kids on earth. She's got years of experience working with kids in nursery schools and library children's programs. If Nancy says this is the best, I'll look no further.
Course Play
Cuisine Kids
Servings 1.5 kg of playdoh


  • 710 ml (700ml & 2 tsp or 3 cups) water
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 410 g (1½ cups) salt
  • 2 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
  • 450 g (3 cups) plain/ all purpose flour
  • Food colouring


  • Mix the dry ingredients in a large saucepan, gradually add the water, and vegetable oil, mixing well. Mix until fully combined but don't worry about small lumps, they'll cook and knead out later.
    If you're doing the whole batch in a single colour start by adding the colour to the water before mixing it into the dry ingredients. Add more as needed to hit your desired colour intensity. If you prefer to split the batch and make smaller portions in multiple colours, hold off.
  • Cook on Low, stirring continuously with a strong metal spoon. Stir and you’ll notice the playdoh pulls away from the pan and becomes drier through the heating.
  • Scatter some loose flour on counter, spoon playdoh onto the flour and knead it for a couple minutes while it is still warm.
  • If you prefer to make several colours, split the dough into your desired number of batches and knead in food colouring until you reach your desired colour intensity.
  • Store in an airtight container for several months, it keeps longer in the fridge.


This makes a lot of playdoh – about 1.5kg, get your strong stirring arm ready! The recipe is easily scalable, I’ve converted Nancy’s recipe into grams to make that easier. Next time I’ll probably make a third. 
The NHS Toddlers Play@Home book, with a similar recipe, (but, I trust Nancy’s as being superior) has a second cooking option:
Whisk ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.  
Place bowl of ingredients in microwave and cook on full power for about 2 minutes. 
CAREFULLY remove from microwave and stir.  
Return to microwave for about 1 minute.
Repeat stirring and cooking until the dough appears cooked.
Knead as above.
The NHS also suggests these modifications:
Change the texture or smell by adding:
  • macaroni
  • glitter (please use bio degradable glitter)
  • oatmeal
  • scents/flavour extracts
Keyword kids, playdoh, playdoough

The Waffle:

Our playdoh mysteriously all got mixed into a brown colour, I’m sure a certain 3 year old housemate had nothing to do with that, It also dried out and got generally… blah. So I made this.

It’s softer/smoother than the commercial stuff, it’s got a nice feel to it. It’s still a little tacky, but Nancy, who answered my texts while making it confirmed my suspicion that with time it’ll dry out less. Today I found if I flipped a piece over and moved it around while rolling out it was fine. If I didn’t move it around a little, it would stick to the counter.

I’ve made them in colours that our daughter shouts about the most, which handily mix well and are less likely to go brown on us. Hello purple, red, and pink… and use the old not name brand playdoh’s tubs for storage. Each of our original three tubs hold 120g of playdoh.