1 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil, 1/2 cup of salt, 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar, 3-6 drops of food coloring, 1 cup of flour

  1. combine all ingredients except for flour in the saucepan on medium until warm- it’s ok if it simmers a little
  2. remove from heat and add the flour
  3. stir together and it will be thick mashed potato consistency
  4. transfer to a plate and wait for it to cool, then knead until smooth (aka play with it!)
  5. store in an airtight container or baggie


This recipe used to be (might still be?) taped inside a kitchen cabinet at The Franklin Montessori School, where I had my first full time art teaching gig after college. Just about every other week one of the lovely teachers would be in the basement kitchen (next to my basement art classroom) whipping up some playdough, and the first, I don’t know – 25 times I saw it, I thought it was magic. But actually, it’s super simple! I know there are tons of recipes available online, but this is my forever favorite. If you can encourage kids to keep it on a tray and have clean hands when they play with it, you can keep it for more than a month and it really stays squishy!

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