DIY Playdough Recipe to Calm Kids Down

This easy play-dough recipe smells amazing, is ready in minutes & is calming for kids.

home made play dough recipe

Calming Play-Dough

This easy play-dough recipe smells amazing, is ready in minutes & is calming for kids.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time10 mins
Keyword: DIY Playdough, easy play-dough recipe, homemade play-dough, Playdough


  • Large Bowl
  • Measuring cups, 1 Cup, 3/4 cup
  • Measuring spoons, Tablespoon
  • Whisk


  • 3 Cups Flour plus extra for dusting in case the dough is too sticky (up to 1 cup extra). I buy whatever flour is on sale and different flours do react differently. White all purpose flour has a nice consistency, but fine pastry flour is the softest.
  • ¾ cup Salt
  • 2 TBSP Cream of Tartar
  • 2 TBSP Oil Canola or olive
  • 1 Cup Hot Water
  • 30 drops Lavender Essential Oil Please use caution when using essential oils around children.
  • 10+ drops Food coloring I divide the prepared dough and roll it into separate balls & make multiple colors


  • Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl & blend together dry using a whisk.
  • Add the oil
  • Stir in 2 cups of hot water gently, but do not fully incorporate it with the whisk. Leave about half of the dough dry & stop mixing with the whisk.
  • Do the rest of the mixing by hand. Kneed the dough until a smooth, if it doesn't get smooth add another tablespoon (or 2) of oil.
  • Other Adjustments…
    If you stir too much it will get goopy, sticky or yucky. If this happens just dust it with a little flour & kneed it until a smooth dough forms.
    If you need more water it will look dry and flaky like a pastry crust, add another ½ cup of water and kneed until a smooth dough forms.


This is NOT an edible recipe!

The finished play-dough will last about 2 months if stored in an air tight container or resealable bag.

Once it starts to dry out and not stick well it’s time to make a new batch. Divide the finished playdough ball in half and use different colors or store half in a ziplock bag for later use.

Play doh is a wonderful sensory activity for kids of all ages. This easy DIY Playdough Recipe will last for months, is inexpensive to make and is calming!

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