Homemade Playdough and Paint for Kids


I’ve been making homemade playdough and paint for quite some time now. They are very easy and fast to make, and cost next to nothing. The quality? Even better than “the real thing”, in my opinion. At least for the homemade  playdough. The paint is not too bad either! And the best thing is that they are completely safe for kids, since they are made of edible ingredients.

Homemade playdough recipe

I didn’t create this recipe, and I really don’t know who came up with it, or where I found it. There are a lot of playdough recipes on the internet, they are all more or less like this.

1 cup of wheat flour ( for a gluten free version, mix 1 cup of white rice flour and 1/2 cup of cornflour)

1 cup of water

1/2 cup of salt

2 teaspoons of cream of tartar

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

a few drops of food colouring


Mix all of the ingredients in a saucepan. Stir until the mixture is smooth and not lumpy.

Cook over low heat. When it just starts to thicken, add a few drops of food colouring.

Keep stirring until the dough is not sticking to the saucepan anymore.

Transfer the dough on a plate. When it’s not too hot anymore, knead it a bit… Or a lot. The kids ( and their Mamae) love kneading warm playdough!


Store the playdough in a zip lock bag or an airtight container, away from direct sunlight. It should last for at least 3 months with regular use. If you are not going to use it for a long time, you can put it in the fridge so that it wouldn’t get mouldy. The gluten free playdough would get a bit hard, just knead it a bit until it gets soft again.

The homemade playdough is seriously better that the store bought one. It’s not sticky, it’s softer and more squishy, it doesn’t dry out as fast as the store bought playdough, and you don’t have to worry should the kids decide to taste it. They are not going to actually eat it anyway, since it tastes really bad and really salty.

Look at our playdough artwork….



Homemade paint

I came up with this recipe some time ago, but if you take a look around on the internet, you’d find a lot of similar recipes.

1 cup of water

4 tablespoons of corn flour

some cold water

food colouring


Mix the water and the cornflour, then cook over medium heat until it thickens. Turn off the fire, and add a bit of cold water to reach your desired consistency. Even if the mixture is already perfect, not too thick and not too thin, it’s important to add a bit of cold water so that the paint will be smoother and doesn’t set/harden too fast.

Put the paint in small containers, add a few drops of colouring, and have fun painting! You can use brushes or your fingers with this paint.

My kids love painting! Renan prefers to use brushes since he doesn’t like getting too dirty….


And Carla… Well, just look at this photo….


You can put the paint in some airtight containers and store them in the fridge. The paint should last for around a week. It would get a bit hard, so you need to stir in a bit of hot water to make it thinner. However, I’d usually throw away any leftover, since it’s really fast and easy to just make new paint.

Oh, just a quick tip… My kids love painting, and they can use up a lot of paper! So sometimes, rather than giving them a piece of paper, I’d take off the tray from the baby chair, and let them paint on it. When they are done painting, I can just wash the tray! The paint won’t stain the tray, the floor or your clothes, but it might stain your skin a bit. That’s why I like to let the kids paint before giving them a bath.

I hope you find this article helpful!

19 thoughts on “Homemade Playdough and Paint for Kids

  1. This is a very useful, clearly presented piece of information that can inspire moms with young kids. It’s good because moms together with kids need to do things to balance their use of e-gadgets. Great job!

  2. The other day I tried mixing 1/2 cup of wheat flour, 1/2 cup of white rice flour and 1/4 cup of cornflour with even better results…. Softer texture, more pliable, and not sticky at all.

    • I’ve tried making playdough without cream of tartar, but the playdough turned out rather sticky and didn’t last long. I read somewhere that you could use white vinegar instead of cream of tartar, so maybe you can try that? Good luck!

      • Thanks a lot.. I will try it and will let you know.. By the way should i use same amount i.e. 2teaspoon??

  3. “They are not going to actually eat it anyway, since it tastes really bad and really salty.” > Rayyaan tasted his homemade play dough once and he’s got a weird yet so funny expression on his face, hi hi…

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