This super simple recipe for 3 ingredient play dough will keep your kiddos happy and engaged for hours! Not only is it easy to make, it will provide loads of fun and creativity to your home.
Playdough is one of my favorite homemade crafts to make with my kids. Especially since it’s so easy to whip up and brings instant fun for hours. There are a few recipes I’ve shared here before, but this recipe for 3 ingredient play dough using baking soda and cornstarch is the best! Read on for more details.
Here’s the quick and easy recipe for homemade playdough, you’ll have it ready in 5 minutes! Watch our video to see just how easy it is. Follow the recipe and instructions below to make it today!
3 Ingredient Play Dough to Make in Minutes:
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup baking soda
- 3/4 cup water
- optional: 2-3 drops of essential oils are fun to add in
- optional: 4-5 drops of food coloring
1. In a saucepan with NO heat, add the cornstarch, baking soda, water and stir.
2. Place your saucepan on the stove top and turn your heat to medium.
3. Continue stirring the mix constantly. It will start to bubble slightly and that’s when it happens really fast. It will begin to turn solid. Once a ball starts to form (4-5 minutes) take your pan off the heat.
4. Place your dough onto a piece of parchment paper or a silicone mat. Let it cool, it will be very hot. To speed the cooling process, flip it over and knead it a bit as it’s cooling down. Be careful, it’s HOT.
5. Once your dough is cool you have the option of adding in a food coloring or a scent. Option: add 2-3 drops of essential oil, we used lemon, and knead it into the dough. Option: add drops of food coloring to your desired colored, even 1 drop will give it some color.
That’s it, super easy! Now it’s time to play. Get out the cookie cutters, lollipop sticks, and plastic utensils and have some fun creating! Your kids are gonna love this.
You can add colors, smells, and textures to your play dough to enhance your play dough play.
Pin this recipe for later:
7 ways to have fun with your homemade play dough:
- Pink Peppermint Play Dough – smells amazing.
- Glitter Heart Clay Ornaments – such a cute gift idea
- Edible Play Dough – yes they can eat this one!
- Salt Dough Beads – easy and fun.
- Play Dough Volcano – this one is so cool!
- Adding Color to your Dough – great afternoon activity.
- Placemats for Dough Play – love this one.
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**Originally posted 6/23/16
We made this and it worked, I had to reduce the ingredients but followed the ratios and everything worked out…
Now the next day its super watery? We stored it in a glass container after the kids were done with it. Today it’s super wet, and not doughy at all.
I read in a previous comment you keep it in the fridge? I wonder if that’s the difference.
Love it’ worked good first try right away recommend this to friends
Haha people are so funny. I followed the recipe and it was exactly as described, came out brilliantly- best recipe I’ve tried. For literally every person who is carrying on… you’ve done it wrong. Easiest thing, can’t recommend enough *chefs kiss
I’m laughing at half of these comments. I did two batches. I added food Coloring and essential oil with dry ingredients stirred everything and cooked on medium heat for exactly 5 minutes! I then let cool a few minutes one side, flipped kneed and cool some more. It came out perfectly. A little crumbling but the kids love it. This is an amazing recipe that is now saved in our books.
This came out great the first time. Saved me having to buy playdoh for a class project with my children, thanks
We kneaded it for ageeeees after adding extra cornflour (it was a sticky mess) and now it’s incredibly dry. So we added sunflower oil to moisten it up. Now it’s just a crumbly mess. Waste of ingredients,
This was awesome in the first few days but then went sticky, do I recook or just add corn starch?
Not sure how everyone is messing it up…the instructions are pretty easy and straightforward.
We made some today and it turned out great. Thank you!
I am a grandma across the country working with a kindergartner who is homeschooling I’m looking for some clever ideas creatively to work with art projects. That’s cool for 35 years but they’re all upper secondary grades so this is new for me
I don’t have children. I wanted a simple recipe to make a clay bar for detailing my vehicle. Thanks!
So great. Thank you!
This recipe was great in a pinch when the clay for our game night was dried out. Came out perfectly!
Made it. Loved it! Thank you.
Made this today with my 4 yr, old grandson. So easy and came out beautiful. I didn’t add oils or food coloring. Where ready to have some fun. How long does it last? I’m going to store it in a zip lock bag. Thank you.
It looked great for us until I tried to kneed it and it just crumbled to a powder ? the opposite problem others had. I’ve clearly done something very wrong.
I used washable paint to color my dough instead of food dye, you need more Paint than food dye to get a good pigment so the first batch ended up gooey the next day after sitting because it was to wet. I tried again but made sure to add the paint BEFORE I cooked it and it turned out perfect. We also used lavender oil and this is my favorite stuff now!
I decided I was going to go out on a limb today and try this recipe. I work daily with all ages of kiddos and thought it would be cool. Holy easy fun!! I ended up with 6 batches! I followed everything to a T. (Except the food coloring . I added it while cooking each batch. The colors were more pastels.) Fabulous! Amazing and super fun! Kiddos loved it! Thank you so much for this recipe!!
So glad to hear! Thanks for sharing :)
Followed it to the T and it was fab. Wonder how long itll last? N any storage tips?
Wonderful recipe and instructions. My two year old can’t get enough. Thank you!
This is really a great idea!
I have already all the supplies needed in my kitchen. Hoping mom won’t scold me for messing the kitchen! (lol)
Turned out great!
We were a bit worried at first as it was quite sticky but after adding some more cornstarch it changed to the perfect play dough consistency! I added a little less water and more cornstarch to the next batch and that turned out brilliantly straight away! Thank you for this recipe – me and my daughter had so much fun making it!!!
This was great! Loved adding essential oils too. For sure while kneading it we added cornstarch and baking soda. It made the consistency less sticky and smooth. Thanks for the recipe and tip about the container in the fridge.
I made this twice. The first time it came out a sticky mess and was horrible, just like what other commenters are describing. It just did not look like what was in the pictures. I read through the article and comments again and was pretty sure I was doing something wrong but I felt like I followed the recipe to a T. I decided to try it again the next day. The second time I doubled the recipe. It hit me as I was measuring out the ingredients that in the first batch I made, I halved the recipe but I forgot to half the water. The second large batch came out great. If you are having issues with stickiness and you changed recipe volume, consider that something might have went wrong there. If it is overly sticky, there is too much moisture. If you add in more cornstarch and it’s still sticky, add in more baking soda too, bc if it’s super sticky, you’ve got wayyyyy too much water.
You people are too hard….so it’s a little sticky, so add more cornstarch. We co tinued to knead the dough in cornstarch until we could use it. I would maybe change the recipe to 3/4 c – 1c. Cornstarch next time.
This is so freaking sticky mess. It was melting in our hands within seconds of playing with it. My 2.5 yo loved it but I also had to wash her down several times. I thought unfollows the recipe but ????? If others didn’t have this issue then maybe I did some thing wrong and we’ll try again.
I made this play dough,I thought it was fun. Sorry I don’t have any kids. I wanted to try it out. I enjoy trying new crafts.?
Awesome recipe! Was super easy!
THIS IS A DISASTER IT IS A TOTAL WASTE OF INGREDIENTS DO NOT USE IT IS HORRIBLY DISGUSTING DO NOT GIVETO KIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I really love this recipe for play dough at first my play dough kinda looked like mash potatoes but I kept stirring it then I lairs it out and added a little more corn startch and very little flour and I kept kneading it and now it’s soft and feels like play dough my kids enjoyed it with cookie cutters and straws thank you for the recipe
This was a disaster. I followed all the ingredients in the right order and it was left so sticky. I tried adding more cornstarch but this did not help what so ever. This is the worst play-dough recipe I have ever seen. Do not try this unless you want your hands to look like you’ve been playing with mash potatoes.
it’s super sticky. I just added more cornstarch while kneading, and turned out fantastic!
Idk what we did wrong, but ours is sticky and super soft.????? We couldn’t make molds with it and it also left a nasty film on our hands. My daughter asked me to go back to our old
I’m so sorry for your troubles! Could it be that you forgot one of the ingredients? Maybe you didn’t cook it quite long enough to form together? Or knead it long enough to get it to form more solid? I’ve made this several times and haven’t run into anything like this, so I’m not quite sure what else it could be.
Again, so sorry this didn’t work out. If you try it again, please let me know how it went your second time around!
Does it require baking after cutting them?
This recipe is fantastic! It’s very inexpensive and silkier than wheat based play dough. Thank you for this!
That’s great to hear! Yes, I think it’s such a simple recipe that has a great texture too.
Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for the simple recipe! I’m going to make this for my daughter today!! How long will it stay softened? Do you suggest any way of storing it?
That’s great! It has stayed pretty soft for me for about 30 days, if kept in the fridge in a sealed container :)