How to make homemade play dough

up up and a play

It’s a bit of a shock to see the rain again after the spell of dry weather. Us Irish get very excited about the sunshine and when the weather returns to normal it can be difficult to adjust. Being stuck inside, it can be difficult to entertain young kids. Why not try this really easy recipe for play dough? This recipe does not need cooking, so little ones do not have to be near hot stoves or cookers. The water is quite hot, so this needs to be done by an adult while children watch. This is a great rainy day activity.

You will need

2 cups plain flour

½ cup salt

2 tbsp cream of tartar

2 tbsp cooking oil

1 to 1½ cups boiling water, allowed to cool a little

A few drops of food colouring

A few drops of glycerin (if you want the dough to shine)


  1. Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and cooking oil together in a large bowl.
  2. Add the food colouring to the boiling water.
  3. Then add this gradually to the flour mixture until you get the correct consistency – not too sticky or dry. Keep mixing until it becomes a ball of dough. Add the glycerin if you wish for shine, but it is not essential.
  4. If the mixture is too wet, add some extra flour.
  5. Remove from the bowl, knead the dough, and separate into small balls.
  6. This will stay fresh for up to six months if stored in an airtight container.

Variations: Once you get the basic recipe right, you can add to it for extra prettiness. You could add glitter for some sparkle, sprinkles for colour, or essential oil to make it smell wonderful.


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