Microwave play dough recipe

Why not try and make your own play dough? Here is a simple microwave recipe. Just add different food colours and you’ll have a variety of different doughs for hours of hands-on creative play



  • food colouring
  • 500ml (2 cups) water
  • 60ml (1 tbsp) oil
  • 1 cup table salt
  • 1 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 2 cups plain flour



  1. Add the food colouring to the water before mixing.
  2. Mix all ingredients well in a large microwave-safe container that has a lid. The dough will cook in different microwaves to varying degrees, so you’ll have to check it regularly throughout the process to be sure you don’t overcook it and make it go crumbly.
  3. Start on 50 percent power for 3 minutes.
  4. Stir and continue for another 2 minutes.
  5. It should congeal in a fairly gluey lump.
  6. When it looks like its come together enough, turn it out onto a floured surface and wait for it to cool a bit.
  7. Knead it until it becomes smooth and silky and easy to work.




  • The large amount of salt is mainly to ensure your playdough lasts – it acts as a preservative to stop it going mouldy.
  • Wrap the play dough up well after your child has finished playing with it in a zip lock bag (with all the air squeezed out) and then pop in an airtight plastic box. This way, it’ll stay fresh for another day.
  • Add the food colouring to the play dough and knead on a plastic board if you don’t want to turn your wooden chopping board a funny colour


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