Homemade Play Dough

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
In this sensory activity, young learners explore chemical reactions by making their own play dough from home. Learners mix flour, salt, and a few other food ingredients to make a dough they can squish, squeeze, and sculpt. This activity includes step-by-step instructions with pictures, suggested extensions for how to get creative and experiment with the play dough, and a section that explains the science behind the activity. SAFETY NOTE: this activity requires heating the ingredients on a stovetop- adult supervision required.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • A large bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • A small saucepan
  • A large spoon
  • An airtight container for storage (optional)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar (optional; it will make your play dough last longer)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • A couple drops of food colouring (optional)
  • Essential oils, food extracts, or dried spices of your choice (optional)


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Solutions


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Ontario Science Centre, 2020