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The Best Homemade Playdough Recipe for Kids—And How to Naturally Dye It

A kid-friendly DIY that's fun and reduces food waste? This homemade playdough recipe is a must-make.

homemade playdough recipe
Written by
Calin Van Paris
When you ponder playdough, you likely think of a finished product—plastic jars full of a colorful, malleable substance ready to help your kids create all the small sculptures of their imaginings. But have you ever wondered what Play-Doh is made of? The answer is mysterious enough to make crafting your own homemade playdough a worthy (and fun!) DIY alternative. 
Play-Doh was
born in 1956
. After hearing from a teacher friend that kids were finding traditional modeling clay tough to manipulate, creator Joe McVicker reimagined what was a wallpaper cleaner (!) as a child-friendly play clay.
According to the
brand's website
, the clay is crafted from water, flour, salt, and a mystery blend of proprietary ingredients that cannot be disclosed. Our first thought? We could do that. And our second? Someone on TikTok can probably do it even better.
The best parts of an at-home activity are quality control and a chance to get creative. Playdough is a simple blend of flour, salt, cream of tartar, and water—and the hues are entirely up to you. Sibia—who specializes in low-waste crafts—takes her homemade playdough to the next level by incorporating
natural dyes
made of
food scraps
and accessible spices. 
"Going to raid my pantry and see what other colors I can make," captioned the creator, who began with blueberries, turmeric, cocoa, and purple cabbage to create a quartet of beautifully-hued playdough colors. 
Other edible items that can be upcycled into natural dyes include beets (red), avocado skins and pits (pink), onion skins (orange), and more. Dreaming up specialized shades adds another layer of play to the process, allowing kids to help create the medium before they even start crafting.
Here, Sibia's naturally-dyed homemade playdough recipe.

How to Make Homemade Playdough

how to make homemade playdough
1 cup flour
6 Tbsp salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tsp oil
Blueberries, turmeric, cocoa, purple cabbage, or whatever food scraps you please!
1. Add all dry ingredients to a bowl and mix. 
2. Boil your chosen food scrap or spice with one cup of water until a rich color has been created. Strain.
3. Add colored water and oil to dry ingredients. Mix well. 
4. Transfer to a
baking mat
or other clean, nonstick surface and use your hands to form your final dough. 
5. Play away!