Scented No-Cook Playdough Recipe without Cream of Tartar (2024)

If you are a preschool teacher, you probably go through a lot ofplaydough.Scented No-Cook Playdough Recipe without Cream of Tartar (1)If you are a preschool parent, you probably go through a lot of playdough, too. It can get pricey, which is why you need this absolutely perfect no-cookplaydough recipe without cream of tartar, and it really is…well…absolutely perfect.

Plus, check out all best playdough recipes and tips for how to make playdough at home.

Scented No-Cook Playdough Recipe without Cream of Tartar (2)

I love this playdough recipe because, not only is it quick and easy to make and smells delicious, but it’s also the perfect consistency for hand strengthening.

Preschoolers need hand strengthening activities to prepare them for life skills. It also prepares them for learning the correct and mature pencil grasp. Playdough is also a great accompaniment to a variety of preschool themes andmath activities.

And, did I mention it’s cheap? I don’t know about you, but with the quantities of play dough made around here, cream of tartar can get pricey. Or, if you’re like me, you’ve used the last of it in your mom’s best snickerdoodle recipe and now you have none left for play dough.

So, a playdough recipe without cream of tartarScented No-Cook Playdough Recipe without Cream of Tartar (3)is a really valuable thing!

Playdough Recipe with No Cream of Tartar

This recipe does not call for cream of tartarScented No-Cook Playdough Recipe without Cream of Tartar (5) to stabilize it, and the recipe doesn’t call for expensive extracts or essential oils for fragranceScented No-Cook Playdough Recipe without Cream of Tartar (6), although they can easily be added.

Aside from this playdough recipe being so extremely affordable, the playdough itself really is just perfect.

Watch the how-to video on this page and you’ll see how it is malleable, but not sticky, holds its shape beautifully, but without being crumbly.

Other perks include the fact that this is a no cook playdough recipe, which makes it super fast and easy to make. This is easily our favorite recipe. It has juts the right texture for activities like our cupcake playdough mats, too.

Disclaimer: I have had my fair share of play dough fails. Remember this Facebook post of my failed red play dough that brought my sweet daughter to tears? Well, tears no more, because I’m also sharing some tips and tricks to making play dough perfect the first time!

Scented No-Cook Playdough Recipe without Cream of Tartar (7)

Playdough Recipe Without Cream of Tartar

This is always my go-to homemade playdough recipe because it is such an easy playdough recipe! It’s pretty fool-proof.

It’s a small batch recipe, making just over a cup of playdough, but it can easily be doubled or tripled for larger groups.

Ingredients

Cooking Supplies Needed for No-Cook Play Dough

Cream of Tartar Substitute for Playdough

We’ve all been there when we’re ready to cook or bake something and ate we are out a key ingredient. For DIY homemake playdough recipes, that often means you have no cream of tartar.

However, there are a lot of cream of tartar substitutes that will work just as well.

This playdough recipe uses lemon juice, but any kind of vinegar will work just as well. In a super big pinch, you could even use plain yogurt or buttermilk. You might need just a little bit more water.

How to Make Playdough without Cream of Tartar

Measure the water and lemon juice into a heatproof, microwavable 2-cup measuring cup. Heat in the microwave until nearly boiling, about 2-3 minutes. Do not heat the water to an actual boil.

Meanwhile, mix together the flour and salt.

If using Kool AidScented No-Cook Playdough Recipe without Cream of Tartar (21) for the fragrance, slowly (and I mean s-l-o-w-l-y, because the mixture will foam a bit) pour the kool-aid packets into the HOT water and lemon juice mixture and add additional food coloringScented No-Cook Playdough Recipe without Cream of Tartar (22) to intensify the color if desired.

Caution: While this is a “no-cook” and very simple playdough recipe, it does involve very hot water, so please be careful and always supervise children while they are helping.

Scented No-Cook Playdough Recipe without Cream of Tartar (23)

Slowly pour the liquid into the flour and salt mixture, and stir with a wooden paddle until it just barely begins to form a dough.

Drizzle the tablespoon of cooking oil over the dough and stir again until it forms a ball. At this point, you may want to knead the dough with your hands.

It may feel a bit sticky, too, but DO NOT add more flour. As the dough cools it will thicken and become less sticky. (Just like how gravy turns to sludge once refrigerated).

Now, once the dough is completely cooled, you may add flour a tablespoon at a time until it is the perfect consistency.

Scented No-Cook Playdough Recipe without Cream of Tartar (24)

Allow the dough to cool a bit on a sheet of aluminum foil, parchment or wax paper. By the time you finish the next batch of play dough, the first will be cool enough to store.

I love to store playdough in these freezer jam containers because the screw on lids are more airtight than snap-on lids.

How to Fix Playdough

This recipe if practically fool proof, but it the texture isn’t 100% perfect, then try these tips.

How do I fix sticky playdough?

Not using enough flour or salt result in sticky playdough, and so will using too much water. If you used the correct quantities in this recipe and your play dough is still sticky, it probably needs to cool a little longer. Once the dough is completely cooled, it should have the right consistency.

But if the dough is completely cooled, and it the playdough is still sticky, try kneading in some more flour, one tablespoon at a time, until you get the desired temperature.

How do I fix crumbly playdough?

If you end up with crumbly or dry playdough, it’s probably because you didn’t use enough water and lemon juice. To fix crumbly playdough, just add a little water, one tablespoon at a time, and knead really well. It’s going to be messy at first, but just keep kneading.

To avoid adding too much water while trying ti fix dry playdough, add leave the newly kneaded playdough in a plastic baggy overnight to let the water fully integrate before adding more.

Why do I need lemon juice in my playdough?

Like cream of tartar, lemon juice, or even vinegar, helps stabilize the dough, giving it that malleable playdough texture we all love. It also acts as a preservative, making the dough last longer.

Scented No-Cook Playdough Recipe without Cream of Tartar (25)

This recipe has always turned out, and it’s definitely an added bonus that this playdough recipe doesn’t call for cream of tarter. Save that stuff for Snickerdoodle cookies!

And if you have a preschooler in your life and you make loads of playdough, my 45 Playdough Recipes E-book is for you! It is a collection of all my greatest recipes for making playdough.

More Easy Playdough Recipes

Homemade playdough s a staple in my preschool classroom. We use it nearly every day. Because of that, I am always coming up with new and unique playdough recipes. Here are some of our favorites:

How to Store Homemade Playdough

This playdough recipe will last a long time, especially if you keep it in the fridge, which is another reason why preschool teachers love this recipe. It will keep on the shelf for up to three months if storied in an air-tight container. I like to use freezer jam containers.

This recipe will keep for up to three months, but be sure to have your preschoolers wash their hands before playing with the playdough. DIY playdough recipes don’t have additives that will increase shelf-life like commercial Play-Doh does, so a good hand washing before playing is a great idea.

Get Your FREE Printable Playdough Recipe Here

Think you’ll be making this playdough recipe a lot? Print a copy of the recipe to save it for later. Just click the image below to have it sent to your email.

Try Some of My Favorite Playdough Accessories

Scented No-Cook Playdough Recipe without Cream of Tartar (27)

Best Playdough Recipe Without Cream of Tartar

Yield: a little over one cup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

No cream of tartar? No problem! This no-cook playdough recipe doesn't call for cream of tartar to stabilize the dough.

Materials

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 3/4 cup of waterminus3 tablespoons
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 packets kool-aid (optional for fragrance and coloring)

Tools

  • large mixing bowl
  • heat proof glass measuring cup
  • measuring cups
  • parchment paper
  • wooden paddle or spoon

Instructions

    1. Mix water and lemon juice in a glass, microwave-proof mixing cup. Heat until boiling, about five minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, mix together flour, salt and oil in a medium size mixing bowl. Set aside.
    3. Add the kool-aid packet(s) to the boiling water and lemon juice mixture. Be careful, this could foam. Whisk until the kool-aid dissolves.
    4. Pour the liquids over the flour mixture and mix well.
    5. Turn out onto the counter and knead until the flour is well combined.
    6. Cool completely before play.

Notes

The consistency of this playdough will be slightly sticky while warm. Allow to cool completely before adding additional flour to adjust consistency.

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Scented No-Cook Playdough Recipe without Cream of Tartar (31)

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Sarah Punkoney, MAT

I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.

stayathomeeducator.com/

Scented No-Cook Playdough Recipe without Cream of Tartar (2024)

FAQs

Scented No-Cook Playdough Recipe without Cream of Tartar? ›

I like to use a mixture of ground cinnamon and cinnamon bark essential oil, but feel free to substitute one or the other. Remember, the cinnamon smell will not be as strong if you use only ground cinnamon. This is a no-cook play dough that can be prepared in around ten minutes.

How do you make scented playdough? ›

How to do this activity
  1. 8 tbsp plain flour.
  2. 2 tbsp salt.
  3. 60ml warm water.
  4. 1 tbsp vegetable oil.
  5. Essential oils.
  6. Large and medium bowls.
  7. Food colouring (optional)

How do you make playdough smell like cinnamon? ›

I like to use a mixture of ground cinnamon and cinnamon bark essential oil, but feel free to substitute one or the other. Remember, the cinnamon smell will not be as strong if you use only ground cinnamon. This is a no-cook play dough that can be prepared in around ten minutes.

What are the 4 ingredients in homemade playdough? ›

For the most part, homemade playdough recipes contain the same essential ingredients: flour, salt, cream of tartar, oil, water, and food coloring.

How do you make scented playdough without cream of tartar? ›

How to Make Playdough Without Cream of Tartar
  1. 1 cup of flour.
  2. 1/4 cup of salt.
  3. 3/4 cup of water.
  4. 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.
  5. 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
  6. Food coloring.
  7. Any seasonings or scents you would like.

How to make vanilla scented playdough? ›

  1. 1 cup all purpose flour.
  2. ½ cup salt.
  3. 2 Tbsp cream of tartar.
  4. 1 Tbsp oil.
  5. 1 cup water.
  6. ½ tsp vanilla extract (or coconut, almond, etc...this makes it smell nice, which is optional but fun :))
  7. Food colouring.
Jul 6, 2012

How to make homemade playdough with 2 ingredients? ›

Instructions
  1. Place the cornstarch in a large bowl.
  2. Mix in the hair conditioner with your hands–it will just start coming together and it will be pliable and very, very smooth. If desired, add a drop or two or food coloring.
  3. You may need to add more conditioner as you go. Use food coloring to color as desired.
Nov 8, 2022

How do you make 5 minute playdough? ›

5-minute homemade playdough
  1. 1 cup All purpose flour.
  2. 1 cup water.
  3. 2 teaspoons cream of tartar.
  4. 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil.
  5. food coloring of your choice.
Jan 29, 2024

Is Play-Doh vanilla scented? ›

Hasbro describes the distinctive eau de Play-Doh as a "combination of a sweet, slightly musky, vanilla-like fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, and the natural smell of a salted, wheat-based dough." Play-Doh has been around since 1956, so generations have grown up with the squishy, colorful toy.

How do you make maple scented playdough? ›

Materials
  1. Large bowl.
  2. Spoon or spatula for mixing.
  3. 1 cup flour.
  4. ⅓ cup salt.
  5. 1 tbsp cream of tartar.
  6. 1 tbsp vegetable oil.
  7. ½-¾ cup boiling water.
  8. 1 tbsp maple flavouring (or maple syrup)

How do you make rainbow playdough? ›

Materials
  1. 2 1/2 cups water.
  2. 1 1/4 cups salt.
  3. 1 1/2 tbsp. cream of tartar.
  4. 5 tbsp. vegetable oil.
  5. 2 1/2 cups flour.
  6. Food coloring or liquid watercolors in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. It's not necessary to have all of the colors. Use as few or as many colors as you would like.
Apr 12, 2019

What is the best homemade playdough recipe? ›

how to make the world's best homemade play-doh. You'll need 3 cups of white all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons cream of tartar, 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of table salt, 3-4 tablespoons of any cooking oil (start with 3 and add more if necessary), 3 cups HOT water, and food coloring.

How do you make super soft playdough? ›

The BEST Play Dough Recipe
  1. 2.5 Cups Water (boiled) (Strained Winter Potpourri water)
  2. 1 1/4 Cup Salt.
  3. 1 1/2 Tbsp Cream of Tartar.
  4. 2 1/2 Cups Flour.
  5. 5 Tbsp Oil (coconut or vegetable)
Jan 19, 2021

What essential oils are good for scented playdough? ›

Some fun essential oils could include: Wild Orange, Peppermint, Lemon, Rosemary, or Lavender. Combine all ingredients, except for essential oils, in a large saucepan and stir until combined. Once combined, put over medium heat. Using a spatula, continue to stir ingredients together until it forms a ball.

Can you add essential oils to Play-Doh? ›

Add a few drops of your choice of essential oil into the dough. The amount you use will depend on the strength of the oil you've chosen and your own preference. Start with about 6 drops and add more, if desired. Knead the oil into the dough to distribute.

What makes Play-Doh smell like that? ›

The trademarked scent, which Hasbro formally describes as a unique scent formed through the combination of a sweet, slightly musky, vanilla-like fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, and the natural smell of a salted, wheat-based dough, makes the PLAY-DOH brand one of the few active and certainly most famous ...

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