Investigate Thursdays – Making Play-Doh®

Did you know that Play Doh was an accidental discovery! In the 1930s a company called Krogers Grocery made a product to clean coal from wallpaper. Then, one of the workers saw some school children using it to make Christmas decorations. So, he added some colour and sold the product as a toy for children. It was called Play-Doh® and is still popular today.

Here is a recipe for you to make your own Play-Doh®.

You will need:
200ml water
100g salt
a tablespoon of vegetable oil
400g plain flour (plus a bit extra for sprinkling on the tray)
food colouring (optional)
7g cream of tartar (**the cream of tartar acts as a preservative and may add a bit more elasticity and make it smoother. But if you don’t have any don’t worry, just ignore this ingredient.)
a mixing bowl
a wooden spoon
a board or tray

Pour 200ml water into a mixing bowl.
Add the salt and a few drops of the food colouring. Stir.
Add 7g cream of tartar**, a tablespoon of vegetable oil and 400ml flour.
Stir until it is mushy (not watery or floury).
Sprinkle the board or tray with flour.
Scrape the mixture out of the bowl onto the board or tray.
Knead it with your hands until it turns into a ball.
If it still feels sticky add a bit more flour. If it is too stiff, add a few drops of water and knead again.
Add flour or water until you have a nice soft but not sticky ball.
Play with it and remember that an accidental discovery created this interesting material!

Thanks to STEM Learning for this recipe. You can find more home learning ideas on their website here: