How to make Playdough; Recipe without Salt

This taste-safe, no-cook playdough recipe is without cream of tartar and salt-free. It takes about 5 minutes to prepare and is a lot of fun to play with. A perfect indoor toddler activity.

I am so happy my son is now old enough to play with playdough! It is so much fun to play with it with him, and somehow it’s rather relaxing. I never thought making your own playdough would be so easy. However, now that I do know how to make playdough, I don’t think I will be buying it ever again.

I say it is easy, but I must confess I had quite some failed tries. I wanted to make playdough without cream of tartar, simply because I didn’t have it. After trying some versions with and without cooking, I came across a recipe that I rather liked. But after playing with it a bit, it started bugging me that there is so much salt in it.

The thing is, although I trust my 2-year-old son not to put the playdough into his mouth (after a first taste at least), I don’t trust his 9-month-old little sister to do the same. Some bits and pieces were always falling down. And with my daughter crawling around… I just wasn’t at ease.

So, back I went in my search for the perfect playdough recipe—this time without cream of tartar ánd without salt.

And after some adjustments, I found it! I am so pleased with this recipe. It is sooo easy and quick. And smooth and soft. It’s just perfect.

The recipe:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/5 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 10 drops of food coloring

First, mix all the dry ingredients. Then add the oil and lemon juice. Next, mix the food coloring with the water in a separate container before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.

Stir with a spoon until no longer very wet. Now you can knead it with your hands for a couple of minutes until it is smooth and the color is evenly spread (Which is really much easier when the color is mixed with the water first).

It will stain your hands a bit while kneading, but afterward, it shouldn’t stain your kids’ hands (no guarantees… it might depend on the type of food coloring… but nothing that won’t come off for sure).

It stays pretty smooth if you keep it in an airtight container (not in the fridge). And when during playing, it does get a bit dry; give it a knead trough, and it will be perfect again. But… Of course, without the salt, it won’t keep like other playdough recipes. A couple of days tops. I don’t mind, because it really is super easy and quick to make, and cheap as well. So you could make a fresh batch when you feel like playing with it. When my kids are older, though, I will probably look for the perfect recipe with salt. And maybe even with cream of tartar. But for now, I am very happy with this recipe, And so is my son.

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How to make Playdough; Recipe without Salt