Fun Play Doh Recipes And More: From Play Doh... To "Gak"... Fingerpaints To "Glop"

Here is a great collection of play doh recipes (and so much more) which I have been given or found over the years from a variety of sources while working with many children as an OT.

I haven't made them all, so I can't rate or recommend the absolute best... but, give them a try! Make them with your kids and have a blast!!

Not only is making and playing with these recipes fun, but they also provide the following benefits...


  • Development of fine motor skills (Click here for more activities and ideas to build fine motor skills!)
  • Stimulates sense of touch and smell (Click here to find out about using play doh for kids with Tactile Overresponsivity A.K.A tactile defensiveness)
  • Development of finger/hand strength

  • Development of eye-hand coordination skills

  • Provide an overall wonderful and necessary sensory experience

    Play Doh Recipes:

    Uncooked Play Doh:

    3/4 cups flour

    3/4 cup salt

    3/4 to 1 cup water with preferred color food coloring

    1 tablespoon vegetable oil

    Mix all ingredients. Knead until smooth consistency. Keep it covered and in refrigerator when not using it.


    Cooked Play Doh:

    1 cup flour

    1/2 cup salt

    2 teaspoons cream of tartar

    1 cup water with preferred color food coloring

    1 tablespoon oil

    Mix all ingredients. Cook over medium hear until forms into a ball and becomes "translucent", not "milky". Knead dough. Store in plastic covered bowl in refrigerator when not using it.

    Snowman Play Doh:

    1 1/3 cups salt

    1 1/3 cups flour

    1 tablespoon oil


    Mix the salt, flour and oil together. Add a small amount of water at a time until you have a big ball of dough. Knead the dough on a floured surface until very smooth and elastic. If too dry, add water; if too moist, add flour to the surface. On a floured surface sculpt the dough into a snowman... to join 2 pieces of dough together, moisten both edges of dough with water and press together.

    Hardening the dough:

  • let them air dry for at least 48 hours
  • OR, bake them in the oven at 325- 350 degrees on foil lined sheet, allow a 1/2 hour for each 1/2 each thickness or until surfaces turn golden brown. If the dough puffs up, turn your oven down and poke a hole in them to let the air out.

    After drying, they can be painted with water colors, acrylics, enamels, or spray paints.


    Sand Play Doh: (textured play doh!)

    1 cup sand

    1/2 cup cornstarch

    3/4 cup water

    Mix ingredients in saucepan and cook until thick. Allow to cool, knead and allow to harden enough for use.

    Sand Modeling Dough: (textured play doh!)

    1 cup sand

    1/2 cup cornstarch

    1 teaspoon Alum

    3/4 cup hot water

    food coloring if desired

    Mix sand, cornstarch and Alum in bowl. Add hot water and stir vigorously. Add food coloring if desired. Cook over medium heat until thick. Let dough cool. Mold into desired shapes and let dry in the sun for several days. Store any leftover dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

    Oat Play Doh: (textured!)

    Note: This play doh is for tactile stimulation. Young children love it. It has a rough texture and is great for exercising hand muscles. You should use this dough the same day you make it, as it will get moldy within a day or two.

    2 cups water

    1 cup oatmeal

    1 cup flour

    cinnamon (optional)

    Heat water until boiling. Combine boiling water and oatmeal in mixing bowl. Add enough flour to make it dough. Add cinnamon for smell if desired.

    Easy Salt Dough:

    1 1/2 cups flour

    3/4 cup salt

    3/4 cup water

    Mix all ingredients in a bowl, add more water if needed. Knead into soft ball of dough. Have fun playing with it.

    Fun Clay:

    1 cup cornstarch

    2 cups salt

    1 1/3 cups cold water


    Put salt and 2/3 cup water in a pot and bring to a boil. Mix cornstarch and remaining 2/3 cup water in separate bowl and stir well. Add salt mixture to cornstarch mixture in bowl. Knead dough. Model or mold dough and let it dry for several hours. Paint when dry if desired. Keep unused clay in airtight container or Ziploc in refrigerator.

    Basic Art Dough:

    4 cups flour

    1 cup iodized salt

    1 3/4 cups warm water

    Mix all ingredients in bowl. Knead dough for 10 minutes. Model as with any clay. Bake sculptures at 300 degrees until hard. Let air dry for a few days.

    Modeling Clay:

    1 box baking soda (16 oz.)

    1 cup cornstarch

    1 1/4 cups cold water

    food coloring, if desired


    In a large mixing bowl, combine baking soda and cornstarch. In a two cup measuring cup, combine water and food coloring. Pour colored water over baking soda mixture. Stir until smooth. Microwave on high for 4 to 8 minutes, stirring after every minute until mixture is firm. Cover with a damp towel until cool. Knead until smooth. Store in airtight containers or Ziploc bags.

    Shampoo Dough:

    3/4 cup flour

    1/3 cup white glue

    1/4 cup thick shampoo

    Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Knead dough. Add more flour as needed for right consistency. Model or roll and cut as desired. Let air dry. Paint as desired.

    Warning: Could be toxic if ingested

    Play Clay:

    1 cup baking soda

    1/2 cup cornstarch

    2/3 cup warm water

    food coloring or poster paints

    shellac or clear nail polish

    Mix baking soda and cornstarch in saucepan. Add water and stir until smooth. Cook over medium heat, boil and stir until "mashed potato consistency". Pour onto board to cool. Knead when cool. For color, knead food coloring into clay (after cooled) until blended, or paint after finished molding. When your shapes are dry, you can brush with shellac or clear nail polish.


    • hardens quickly

    • will store in airtight container for several weeks

    Cornstarch Dough:

    1/2 cup salt

    1/2 cup hot water

    1/2 cup cold water

    1/2 cup cornstarch

    Mix salt and hot water and boil in pot. Stir cold water and cornstarch in a separate bowl. Add cornstarch mixture to boiling water and stir. Cook over low heat, stirring until "pie dough consistency". Remove from heat and place dough on board. When cool, knead dough until smooth. Have fun playing!


  • texture is grainy
  • hardens in 1-2 days
  • dough will be white
  • to speed dry, put in 200 degree oven for 1 hour
  • will keep for a long time if stored in a container

    Snow Play Doh:

    1 cup Ivory Snow laundry detergent

    2 cups warm water

    food coloring

    electric hand mixer or egg beater

    Add food coloring to warm water, then add to laundry detergent. Mix well with beater until fluffy. Use just like regular play doh.

    Warning: Could be toxic if ingested

    Scented Play Doh: (smells awesome and the kids love it!)

    1 package of sugar free gelatin; .3 oz size (use any flavor you want, as the dough will have that scent when done; I believe you can replace the gelatin with a Kool-Aid packet instead for even more scented varieties!)

    2 cups flour

    1 cup salt

    4 tablespoons cream of tartar

    2 cups boiling water

    2 tablespoons cooking oil

    Mix dry ingredients together in pot, add the boiling water and cooking oil. Stir over medium heat until it forms a ball. Let it cool. Keep in air tight container in refrigerator when not playing with it.

    Chocolate Scented Play doh:

    1 1/4 cups flour

    1/2 cup cocoa powder

    1/2 cup salt

    1/2 tablespoon cream of tartar

    1/2 tablespoon cooking oil

    1 cup boiling water.

    Mix flour, cocoa powder, salt, and cream of tartar together. Add cooking oil and boiling water to mixture. Stir quickly and mix well. Cook over low heat until dough forms a ball. When cool, mix with your hands. Store in airtight container.


    Note: It smells good enough to eat, but tastes awful! Is not edible.

    Microwave Play Doh: (scented, if use Kool Aid)

    6 tablespoons cream of tartar

    3 cups plain flour

    4 tablespoons cooking oil

    1/2 cup salt

    3 cups water

    food coloring/powder paint/or Kool Aid packet

    Combine all ingredients in microwave proof dish and beat until smooth. Cover with cling wrap and microwave on high for 7 minutes, stirring half way through cooking. If the mixture is still gooey, microwave for another minute. (Since all microwaves are different, be sure to watch the dough while cooking). Cool and store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

    Gingerbread Play Doh: (scented!)

    1 cup flour

    1/2 cup salt

    2 teaspoons cream of tartar

    1 cup water

    1 teaspoon vegetable oil

    lots of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg!

    Mix the flour, salt, and cream of tartar together. Play with the spices until you get the scent and color you want, and add to dry ingredients. Mix water and oil together first, then add them to the dry ingredients and stir. In a pot, cook the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. The dough will start to pull away from the sides of the pot and clump together. Take the dough out of the pot and knead it until soft and smooth. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

    "Nutty Putty": (Edible!!)

    3 1/2 cups peanut butter

    4 cups powdered sugar

    3 1/2 cups corn syrup or honey

    4 cups powdered milk

    chocolate chips (optional)

    Mix the ingredients. Divide into 15 to 20 portions and refrigerate in plastic bags. After washing their hands, have children mold and shape the dough on waxed paper. Provide chocolate chips to be used as decorations if desired. Play with it and let them eat it!

    Other Fun Recipes... Paint, "Gak", "Glop", "Flubber" (etc.)

    Fun And Inexpensive Fingerpaints:

    1. Flavored pudding

    2. Liquid starch and tempera paint. (if necessary, thicken with cornstarch)

    Warning: Could be toxic if ingested

    3. Ivory Snow flakes and enough water to make it "gloppy".

    Warning: Could be toxic if ingested

    4. Corn starch and water until a "glue consistency". Cook until clear gel consistency.

    5. Mix 1 quart boiling water, food coloring, 1 cup cornstarch, and 1/2 cup Ivory Snow. Cook briefly.

    Warning: Could be toxic if ingested

    Soap Flake Fingerpaints:

    1 cup Ivory Snow flakes

    enough water to give a "whipped cream consistency"

    food coloring

    Mix the water and soap flakes. Beat with a rotary beater until creamy. Add food coloring for different colors.

    Warning: Could be toxic if ingested

    Cooked Fingerpaints:

    1 cup flour

    2 teaspoons salt

    3 cups cold water

    3 cups boiling water

    food coloring

    Mix the flour and salt in an electric skillet. Add the cold water and stir until smooth. Add the hot water and stir until boiling. Boil until clear. Then add desired food coloring. Mix until smooth.

    Uuncooked Fingerpaints: (textured!)

    1 cup flour

    1 1/2 teaspoons salt

    1 cup water

    food coloring

    Mix flour and salt, add water. Mixture will be "grainy".

    Cornstarch Fingerpaints:

    3 tablespoons sugar

    1/2 cup cornstarch

    2 cups cold water

    food coloring

    soap flakes or liquid dishwashing detergent

    Mix sugar and cornstarch in saucepan. Turn heat on low, add cold water and stir until mixture is thick. Remove from heat. Divide mixture into 4 or 5 portions, spooning into muffin tin sections or small cups. Add a few drops of food coloring and a pinch of soap flakes, or a drop of dishwashing liquid to each cup. Stir and cool before use. Store covered.

    Warning: Could be toxic if ingested

    Washable Fingerpaints:

    1 cup all-purpose flour

    1 cup cold water

    3 cups cold water

    food coloring

    In large saucepan, mix the flour with 1 cup cold water. Stir until smooth. Then add the 3 cups cold water. Cook over medium heat, stirring until mixture thickens and bubbles. Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Divide into 3 heat-resistant bowls. Tint with food coloring. Cover and cool.

    Washable Window Paint:

    Tempera paints (powdered or pre-mixed)

    clear dishwashing liquid

    Mix powdered paint with dish soap until it resembles "house paint",OR, mix just a little dish soap into premixed paints. Line the window sash with masking tape and be sure to spread newspaper around to protect the area. To erase paint, or touch up mistakes, just wipe paint away with a dry paper towel.

    Warning: Could be toxic if ingested


    4 teaspoons Borax (find in cleaning supplies or laundry isle of grocery store)

    1 cup warm water

    lots of food coloring

    2 cups white glue (craft stores sell it by the gallon)

    1 1/2 cups VERY hot water

    In a small bowl, mix the Borax with the warm water. Stir with fingers to dissolve. Add lots of food coloring as it seems to absorb it.

    In a large bowl, pour the glue into the hot water (as hot as you can get it without burning yourself). Stir with your fingers as you add the glue.

    Slowly add contents of the Borax bowl to the glue bowl, mixing with your fingers constantly. There will be a cool chemical reaction as the Flubber solidifies. Keep stirring and mixing until it no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Pour off excess liquid (there usually is).

    Begin playing! Store Flubber in an airtight container. It will keep for about 2 weeks.

    Note: it may stain fabrics and clothes when fresh, so keep it away from carpeted areas and wear smocks or old shirt.

    Warning: Could be toxic if ingested

    "GAK" (Homemade Silly Putty):

    1 cup white glue (Elmer's)

    1 cup liquid starch

    food coloring

    Put glue and food coloring into plastic container. Add starch a little at a time, stirring constantly. Keep stirring until mixture holds together like putty. Test with your fingers, if too sticky, add more starch in small amounts until mass is smooth and rubbery. Now, have fun playing with it...stretching, pulling, bouncing, making transfers of the Sunday comics. Store in airtight container.

    Warning: Could be toxic if ingested

    "Gook" (Similiar To "Gak"):

    liquid corn starch

    white glue (Elmer's)

    food coloring if desired

    Mix the two items together until it has a thick, slippery feeling.

    To play: Moosh and squeeze, see how funny it feels!

    Warning: Could be toxic if ingested

    Cornstarch And Water: (Now This One Is Fun!!)

    Mix cornstarch and water until it has a thick, watery feeling.

    To play: It will feel dry when you pick it up, but turns "goopy and watery" as you squeeze it and let it drip through your fingers. It is pretty wild! Store in covered container. If it dries out over time, you can revive it by adding a small amount of water.

    Bead Clay:

    3/4 cup flour

    1/2 cup salt

    1/2 cup cornstarch

    warm water




    sealant (optional)

    Mix flour, salt and cornstarch in a bowl. Add warm water gradually until mixture forms a shape. Knead. Form into beads and pierce with toothpicks. Allow to dry. Paint and string the beads. Seal if desired.


    4 large newspaper sheets

    2 quarts of water

    2 tablespoons Elmer's glue

    2 tablespoons wall paper paste

    clear vinyl sealer or sealer (optional, for waterproofing)

    sodium phosphate (optional, for fireproofing)

    Tear four large newspaper sheets into small pieces. Place pieces in container with 2 quarts of water and let soak overnight.

    The next morning, place mixture in a cooking pan and boil for 20 minutes. Using a whisk, whip the paper mixture until it is soft and pulpy. Place the mixture in a strainer, tapping several times to shake out the water. Squeeze gently until the mixture is a soft, pulpy, moist lump. Place pulp into a bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of liquid Elmer's glue, then 2 tablespoons of wall paper paste. Stir until the mixture is smooth. This makes one quart of paiper-mache mash.

    Notes: Sanded or not, papier-mache objects may be painted with any water-based paint. To waterproof surfaces of paiper-mache objects and make them more durable, spray the finished object with a clear vinyl sealer or give it at least 3 coats of laquer. To fireproof an object stir in one teaspoon of sodium phosphate to each cup of paste for strips, or to each cup of water when making the mash.

    Warning: Could be toxic if ingested

    Balloon Blob:

    Regular balloons

    All-purpose flour

    1. Blow up a balloon and keep it inflated for at least 1 minute. Do NOT tie a knot in the end. After 1 minute, let all the air out.

    2. Fit a funnel into the open end of the balloon. Carefully spoon flour into the funnel, tapping and shaking the funnel to get the flour into the balloon. Put as much flour into the balloon as you can.

    3. Remove the funnel. Tie a knot in the end of the balloon.

    4. Wash and dry the balloon blob

    5. Draw a face or design on the blob if you like. Push, pull, and stretch it into different shapes.

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    Further Reading

    Sensory Integration Activities - Turning Therapy Into Play - Sensory integration activities are the lifeline to achieving maximum function in children with SPD.

    Preschool Writing Activities - Practical, fun, and simple preschool writing activities for that will foster and encourage proper fine motor development. Use these ideas to get them ready to write!

    Tactile Overresponsivity (Tactile Defensiveness) - A description, signs and symptoms, effects of, and ways to provide tactile stimulation that will help your child tolerate this type of input.

    Fine Motor Skills Activities For Children - An extensive article about the importance of fine motor development, and, the top recommended fine motor skills activities for children to help them develop their fine motor skills.

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