Part of knowing all the tips and tricks for how to make playdough is also having the best, easy cooked playdough recipe. This recipe for cooked playdough is definitely one you’ll want to keep!
It turns out perfectly every time, which is why it is completely fail-proof! No fancy ingredients tricks. This is an old recipe that is still trending because it turns out every single time.
There’s nothing more frustrating than having a playdough recipe fail. Having playdough that is too sticky or playdough that is too crumbly can completely ruin a child’s play experience.
This homemade playdough recipe is just the right amount soft and stretchy without being sticky, and it’s just thick enough to mold and hold it’s shape clearly, making. it excellent for activities life fall leaf impressions.
And if you like this classic cooked playdough recipe, then you’ll love all the other recipes in my Playdough Cookbook!
Why Use Cooked Playdough
Cooked playdough is reliable, and this recipe is always one of my go-to’s. Playdough offers a lot of benefits to preschoolers. It increases a preschooler’s fine motor skills and social-emotional skills, too. But wondering why playdough is good for fine motor skills?
- be a hand strengthening activity
- work fine motor skills
- work hand-eye coordination
- improve social skills and language skills
- encourage creativity
- be calming for children who struggle with emotional regulation
Since cooked playdough with cream of tartar lasts so long, this is a good recipe to use in your preschool classroom. The NAECY strongly supports using playdough in the early childhood classoom.
Ingredients to Make Homemade Cooked Playdough
This playdough recipe calls for only the most basic ingredients.
- table salt
- vegetable oil or coconut oil
- cream of tartar
- food coloring (optional)
How to Make Cooked Playdough with Cream of Tartar
This is a cooked recipe, but making homemade playdough on the stove top is really easy.
Measure the flour, salt, oil, and cream of tartar into a medium saucepan and whisk together.
Add the water, then turn on the heat. Mix together. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture forms into a thick dough. You’ll know when it’s ready because it will look like a hot ball of playdough!
Allow the playdough to cool for about ten minutes on parchment paper.
Next, it’s time to knead the dough. You can add food coloring at this time, or you can leave it in it’s natural off-white color. But knead the dough thoroughly. When to dough is completely cooled, it’s ready for play!
My Easy Cooked Playdough Recipe is just one example from my Playdough Cookbook.
Why Cream of Tartar in Playdough
Have you even wondered what cream of tartar does in playdough? It’s a common ingredient in homemade playdough, and an important one. Adding cream of tartar (or a cream of tartar substitute) does the following:
- stabilizes the play dough
- helps the play dough last longer
- helps playdough maintain it’s texture
Can You Make Playdough Without Cream of Tartar?
Cream of tartar is an acidic compound that is added to playdough to stabilize the dough and give it that just-right soft texture. If you don’t have any cream of tartar on hand, you can use a cream of tartar substitute like lemon juice of vinegar.
This playdough recipe without cream of tartar is my all-time favorite that uses lemon juice as the acid to stabilize the dough.
What Can You Do With Playdough?
We know the awesome benefits of playdough. Now we need some top-notch tools to go along with this soft, maliable homemade playdough we just made. Here are some things in my own classroom “playdough toolbox”.
These playdough tools will increase fine motor skills and act as important hand strengthening activities.
Playdough Activities Using Cooked Playdough
Playdough is one of my favorite sensory tools to use in my preschool classroom, and my preschoolers love playing with it too! Here are some creative ways to use playdough.
Playdough activities are a great way to help your child develop fine motor skills as well as bilateral coordination skills. These fine motor activities for playdough are so engaging, children don’t even realize they’re learning while playing.
Playdough is a must-have in any preschool classroom, and it can also be the perfect tool for some hands-on learning activities for preschoolers. Add a laminated playdough mat and you are set to go.
Kids love to play with playdough, but sometimes playdough can start to feel a little stale. Try some of these playdough invitations to play to spice things up and make it more fun! Here are 20+ fun ideas to make playdough more interesting.
Why Your Playdough Didn’t Turn Out
Like any recipe, you have to follow it closely to get the right results. But if you’ve had a playdough fail, I have a post all about troubleshooting your playdough recipe. It also answers some playdough frequently asked questions, like:
- Why is my playdough crumbly?
- When should I add food coloring to playdough?
- How do you get playdough out of carpet?
- Can dogs eat playdough?
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup cooking oil
- 2 cups water
- food coloring (optional)
- medium saucepan
- measuring cups and spoons
- mixing spoon
- parchment paper
- Measure the flour, salt, oil, and cream of tartar into a medium saucepan and whisk together.
- Add the water, then turn on the heat. Mix together.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture forms into a thick dough. You’ll know when it’s ready because it will look like a hot ball of playdough!
- Allow the playdough to cool for about ten minutes on parchment paper.
- Add desired food coloring and knead.
- DO NOT ATTEMPT THE FOLLOWING until the playdough is completely cooled.
- If the playdough is too sticky, knead in more flour, one tablespoon at a time, until desired texture is achieved.
- If the playdough is too crumbly, knead in more water, one teaspoon at a time.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.