Clay & Playdough Formulas for Children's Projects

Most of the ingredients for these clays and playdoughs can be found in your kitchen. When making any project with children that involves cooking, cutting or using materials that can be potentially harmful always make sure that there is an adult or responsible person with the child.
Creating and learning can be fun! Take all the precautions necessary to ensure that the experience is both fun and safe for everyone!


Glitter Clay - Cooked Playdough 1 - Cooked Playdough 2 - Uncooked Playdough - Kool-aid Playdough - Playdough in a Jar
Peanut Butter Playdough - Coffee Grounds Playdough - Sawdust Clay - Bead Clay - Oatmeal Clay - Cloud Playdough - Fruit Playdough
- Crepe Paper Clay - Sun Clay - Slime - Silly Putty - Glitter - Soap Crayon - Sidewalk Chalk - T

See our complete listing of Children's Projects

Glitter Clay
Flour 3 cups
Salt 1 1/2 cups
Cream of Tartar 6 tsp
Vegetable Oil 4 tbsp
Water 3 cups
Food Coloring

In a big cooking pot, combine the flour, salt, and cream of tartar. Add the oil, water, and food coloring. Mix until there are no lumps and the color is uniform.
Heat the mixture on the stove (medium heat) while stirring constantly. Heat it until it forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
Let it cool, then knead the glitter into the clay (you'll have to use a lot of glitter). Work on a flat surface (like a kitchen counter). To add glitter, flatten out the clay with your hands and pour some glitter on it. Fold over the clay and knead it for a while. Repeat until the clay looks glittery.
When not in use, store the glitter clay in a plastic bag or plastic container.

Cooked Playdough 1
Salt 1 1/2 cups
Flour 3 cups
Cream of Tartar 6 tsps
Vegetable Oil 3 tbsps
Water 3 cups
Food Coloring

Pour all ingredients into a large pot. Stir constantly over medium heat until a ball forms by pulling away from the sides. Knead the playdough until the texture matches playdough (1-2 minutes).
Store in plastic container. Should last for at least 3 months.

Cooked Playdough 2
Water 3/4 cup
Baking Soda 1 cup
Corn Starch 1/2 cup
Food Coloring

Have your child mix the baking soda and corn starch in a pot. Use hands to make sure all the lumps are broken up. Add water. The adult should put the pan on the stove over medium heat and stir constantly. As soon as the mixture gathers together, remove from the heat. When it cools, have your child knead it into a smooth playdough.

Uncooked Playdough
Water 1/4 cup
Salt 1/4 cup
Flour 1 cup
Food Coloring

Have your child mix the flour and salt in a bowl then add water. Knead and squeeze the dough to make a clay consistency. You may need to add more water.

Kool-Aid Playdough
Salt 1 cup
Flour 2 1/2 Cups
Water Boiling 2 cups
Kool-aid unsweetened 2 pkgs
Vegetable Oil 2 tbsp

Mix dry ingredients. Add oil and water. Wearing gloves, knead for 10 minutes. Store in zip lock bag in refrigerator.

Playdough in a Jar
Salt 1 cups
Flour 2 cups
Kool-aid 2 pkgs
Cream of Tartar 3 tbsp

Combine the dry ingredients in a jar or other container. Makes about 3 cups of dry mix.

Attach to Jar:

Mix 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of baby oil, and 1 or 2 packages of the unsweetened Kool-Aid type drink mix in a bowl. Put the dry ingredients from this container in a microwave-safe bowl; add the liquid mixture and stir to mix together.
Ask an adult to microwave on high for a total of about 4 minutes, stopping every 30 to 45 seconds to stir again. Stir each time until a ball forms. After the play dough is cool enough to touch you're ready to play!

Peanut Butter Playdough
Salt 1 cup
Powdered Milk 1 cup
Oatmeal 1 cup
Honey 1 cup
Peanut Butter 1 cup

Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Safe and healthy for children to eat as they create their works of art.

Coffee Grounds Playdough
Coffee Grounds, used 2 cups
Salt 1/2 cup
Cornmeal 1 1/2 cups
Warm Water

Mix dry ingredients together. Add enough warm water to moisten. This dough has a unique texture and is good to roll, pat, and pound.

Sawdust Clay
Sawdust 2/3 parts
Flour 1/3 parts
Water Warm
Tempera Paint

To mix the clay, use a large bowl or bucket. Mix 2/3 parts of sawdust and 1/3 part of flour together.
Pour in water and mix until it reaches a stiff but 'squishy' consistency. Add more flour if it is too crumbly. The clay needs some kneading before the gluten in the flour becomes elastic, holding the sawdust together. Work it in your hands or on a table top covered with newspapers. Play with the clay a little until it becomes easy to shape.
This clay air-dries very hard. It should be placed directly in the sun, if possible. When dry, you can sand it or not, depending upon what you like.
Use tempera or acrylic paints to decorate the finished objects.

Bead Clay
Salt 1/2 cup
Flour 3/4 cup
Corn Starch 1/2 cup
Warm Water
Tempera Paint

In a bowl, mix flour, salt and water. Slowly mix in warm water until a dough is formed.
Knead 5 minutes until dough is firm.
Make beads by rolling the dough into balls and poking with a straw (big holes) or toothpick (small holes).
Let dry 48 hours.
Paint with acrylic or tempera paints (acrylic covers better, but doesn't come out of clothes)

Oatmeal Clay
Water 1/2 cup
Flour 2/3 cup
Rolled Oats 1 cup

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Add more flour if necessary for the dough to form a lump. Have the children knead the dough on a floured surface until it is smooth. You can add food coloring to the water before mixing the dough, or divide it into balls and add the coloring after the children mix and knead it.
Your children's finished crafts can air dry overnight.
Note: Children can store the clay in the refrigerator in a ziplock bag for up to 3 days.

Cloud Playdough
Vegetable Oil 1 1/2 cup
Flour 6 cups
Water 1 cup
Food Coloring

Add a few drops of food coloring to water. Combine water, oil and flour in a large bowl. Knead well. Add more water if necessary in small amounts until the dough is soft and stretchy. Cloud dough should be used on a washable surface for it is very greasy.

Fruit Playdough
Salt 1 cup
Flour 2 cups
Water 2 cups
Cream of Tartar 4 tbsp
Cooking Oil 2 tbsp
Jello Small Pk.

Mix dry ingredients in pan. Add the water and oil. Stir over medium heat until mixture forms a ball. Pour onto a sheet of wax paper. Enjoy!

Crepe Paper Clay
Salt 1 cup
Flour 1 cup
Crepe Paper

Mix together flour and salt in a small bowl. Tear crepe paper into small pieces and place into a larger bowl. Add enough water to crepe paper to cover. Soak one hour or until most of water is absorbed. Pour off excess water. Do not squeeze. Begin adding flour and salt until it becomes a clay-like substance. Form clay into interesting shapes. Let dry and apply either a varnish or a glue and water mixture to seal.

Sun Clay
Salt 2 cups
Corn Starch 1 cup

Mix the salt and 2/3 cup water in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Remove from heat. In a separate bowl, slowly add 1/2 cup water to the cornstarch. Stir until smooth, then add to the salt mixture. Return to low heat and cook until smooth, stirring frequently. Store in a sealed plastic bag.
Place the clay on a tray or paper plate and have children work outdoors or in a sunny area indoors. Give children a lump of clay to model. Children may decorate their sun sculptures with small stones, leaves etc.

Liquid Starch 1 tbsp
White Glue 2 tbsp
Food Coloring

Combine the starch and glue in a baggie. Add food coloring. Seal the baggie and squish.

Silly Putty
Corn Starch 1 cup
Elmers White Glue 1/2 cup
Food Coloring

Do NOT substitute any other glue for Elmer's glue! Slowly add starch to glue and knead with fingers. The more you work with it the better it gels. Add food coloring if you want.


Mix salt with food coloring, adding one drop of coloring at a time until desired color is reached. Spread colored salt in a thin layer to air dry or microwave 1-2 minutes until moisture is evaporated.
If food coloring is not available, you may use watercolors (the more concentrated, the better), but you'll need to allow for longer drying times.

Soap Crayons
Ivory Snow Flakes 1 3/4 cup
Water 1/4 cup
Food Coloring

Mix water & soap flakes together. Add food coloring & put mixture into an ice cube tray. Allow to harden. Break or cut into pieces. Fun to write with on the tub when bathing & face & hands!

Sidewalk Chalk
Plaster of Paris 1 cup
Water 1 cup
Powdered Tempera Paint

Molds (upright toilet tissue rolls duct taped on one end, muffin tins, Styrofoam egg cartons, wax-lined paper cups, candy molds, yogurt containers)
Before beginning, protect work surface and clothes. It is best to make this recipe outdoors. Mix plaster and water together until mixture is the consistency of toothpaste. (Add more water or plaster as necessary.) Add powdered paint until desired color is achieved. Experiment with making swirled colors by adding the paint and stirring very little. Stir out any bubbles. Let stand for several minutes before pouring into molds. Depending on the size and thickness of the mold, allow chalk to completely dry over the course of several days. Once dry, remove chalk from mold. If mixture remains moist, let air dry for another 24 hours. Chalk should easily release from mold.

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