Best Ever No-Cook Play Dough Recipe! - The Imagination Tree (2024)

by Anna Ranson

How to make the best ever, no-cook play dough recipe in just 4 minutes, that will lasts for 6 months! Voted the number one play dough recipe by teachers, parents and child-carers for many years in a row! I hope you’ll love it too 🙂

I’ve been working with children for over 20 years and play dough is the fail safe way to engage and excite little hands and minds! It is a brilliant sensory and fine motor tool that is ridiculously easy to make and SO much better than any store bought versions.

By making it yourself you know exactly what has gone into it and can also customise it in so many ways, such as adding colour, sparkles and even natural flavours or essential oils. It has a proven therapeutic quality and has saved my parenting on more occasions than I can number! It is, quite simply, the best play material out there.

I hope you will love my easiest ever, no-cook play dough recipe!

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The benefits of using play dough for young children are wonderfuland the play possibilities are endless!

You need:

[Amazon affiliate links to help you find the ingredients I recommend. Many of these are bulk size as it works out cheaper when making for classes or every month like we often do!]

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  • Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl
  • Add food colouring TO the boiling water then into the dry ingredients
  • Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough
  • Add the glycerine (optional)
  • Allow it to cool down thentake it out of the bowl and knead it vigorously for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness has gone.* This is the most important part of the process, so keep at it until it’s the perfect consistency!*
  • If it remains a little sticky then add a touch more flour until just right


We use theseWilton Gel coloursBest Ever No-Cook Play Dough Recipe! - The Imagination Tree (5)as they are much more vibrant and take only a tiny amount to colour the dough. We also use them in all our other sensory play activities to and they last for ever!

You can store this play dough in an air tight container for at least 6 months. If you live in a humid climate you might need to store it in the fridge and out of sunlight.

Here’s our new video showing how EASY it is to make this play dough!!

Once you’ve made your play dough hop on over to this post where I explain the totally amazing benefits of play dough play! And recommend many items to start collecting to create a play dough tool kit. Here are some brilliant play dough tools we have and love to use alongside this recipe. These are totally worth adding to your play dough toolbox and will last for a very long time!

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I have listed the direct links to find the items in this image below:

Wooden pattern rollers

Wooden texture stampers

Wooden spools for building with playdough

Metal cookie cutters

Glass gems

Toy animals

Garlic Press

Mini metal pots

Paper Straws

Plus many more ideas in individual posts in my play dough archives!

How here are over 50+ ways to change this basic mix to create an amazing range of different play dough flavours and fun activities to go with them! Literacy, maths, imaginative play and role play to name just a few.

Click through to find your favourites and pin them for future use.

And here are 10 beautiful, natural play dough recipes for you to try too!


Search the full Play Dough archives here

Looking for Salt Dough that can be played with then hardened into models to keep? Here is our Rainbow Glitter Salt Dough recipe

I hope you love this easy no-cook play dough recipe and will share it far and wide! Thanks for the hundreds upon hundreds of you that have already told me it’s the best recipe you’ve ever used and will use it in your classrooms and homes ever more! 🙂

[This post contains Amazon affiliate link to help you find products I love and recommend easily. Thank you!]

Best Ever No-Cook Play Dough Recipe! - The Imagination Tree (2024)
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