The Easiest Homemade Playdough Without Cream of Tartar

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Homemade Playdough Without Cream of Tartar

Making homemade playdough is a fun task and an excellent bonding activity to do with your children. 

There are many recipes for playdough to choose from, but they may call for ingredients that might be difficult to find. 

Our favorite homemade playdough without cream of tartar recipe makes use of ingredients that you probably hold within your kitchen. So open up your kitchen cupboard and start to make your own play dough right now. 🙂

Benefits of Playing with Playdough

Playdough can help children develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and aesthetic creativity.

Playing with playdough is a fun way for children to enhance their fine motor skills. So they can control things like crayons and scissors.

Playing with playdough is a great tool to teach kids more about objects, hues, and textures. 

It is a sensory play activity that helps develop creative thinking and imagination.

It keeps them busy while they’re learning in a fun way.

home made play dough ice cream
Edible homemade playdough

Basic Playdough Recipe without Cream of Tartar

Making our best homemade playdough is a fun activity to do with your kids, and it’s easy to do! Plus, you can customize the ingredients to make different colors and scents. 

There are a variety of add-ins to the classic no cook play dough recipe that can all be used to make your own playdough. If you do not have cream of tartar or refuse to use it, lemon juice can be a suitable replacement. 

Cream of tartar substitute for playdough should be baking soda. This will work as a leavening agent to help the dough rise and give it a similar texture to play dough made with cream of tartar. 

Baking soda will still provide the right consistency and texture for playdough, without any unwanted additives. 

how do you make play dough
How to make homemade playdough without cream of tartar?

Another option is vinegar. Vinegar will also help the dough rise and give it a more consistent texture. If you choose to use vinegar, be sure to add enough so that the dough will be slightly sticky. 

Alternatively, you can substitute cream of tartar with cornstarch. Cornstarch will help make the dough more elastic and less sticky.

When it comes to coloring your own playdough, you can use either gel food coloring or liquid food coloring.

So go ahead and get artsy and creative – your kids will be thrilled with it! Learn our best playdough recipe without cream of tartar.

Our Favorite Homemade Playdough Recipe without Cream of Tartar

For a fun and easy homemade playdough, try our version without cream of tartar.

Making playdough without cream of tartar

There are many homemade methods, but this is our favorite recipe. It’s an easy homemade playdough recipe because it’s easy to mix and doesn’t require any special ingredients. 

Learn how to make no cook playdough without cream of tartar. 

how to make edible play-doh
Easy playdough recipe no cook

Basic Ingredients for Our Favorite Recipe

I used olive oil, but any type of cooking oil will work the same.

ingredients playdough recipe no cook
DIY playdough recipe without cream of tartar

Step-by-Step Guide – How to Make Playdough Without Cream of Tartar

  1. Add the water and lemon juice into a heatproof bowl. Then heat it in the microwave until just boiling, for approximately two minutes.
Making no cook playdough without cream of tartar
microwave playdough recipe
Microwave playdough

2. Combine the flour, salt, and other additional dry seasonings you are planning to use in a mixing bowl.

recipe for home made playdough prepared by Lara
Our easy playdough recipe without cream of tartar

3. Slowly and gradually add the liquid ingredients into the flour and salt mixture, and stir it with a wooden or silicone cooking spoon.

4. Add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over the dough and stir it again.

homemade playdough no cook
No bake playdough in progress

5. Knead the dough with your hands.

6. Place the dough on wax paper until it cools down a bit. As it cools it will thicken and will be less sticky.

7. Knead the play dough again for a few minutes.

8. If the play dough is a bit sticky, add a little flour and oil until it reaches the desired consistency, and knead until it’s not sticky anymore.

9. Once you have the desired consistency, shape it into balls and add a few drops of food coloring to create different colors of play dough. 

blue playdoh, green playdough and red playdough
Adding food coloring to white playdough

10. Mix it well and let them rest for 10 minutes before playing with them.

More Homemade Playdough Recipes with Fancy Ingredients

Oatmeal Playdough Recipe

This is a quick, inexpensive, and edible playdough to make without the cream of tartar playdough recipe. 

uncooked playdough recipe
Soft playdough recipe with Oatmeal

Make your own playdough from your breakfast ingredients. It’s non-toxic and suitable for little ones. They can make a sticky mess too.

play dough recipe easy - oatmeal edible
Ingredients for edible playdough recipe

Prepare the instant oatmeal as instructed.  

Mix all the ingredients. Knead the dough until it’s smooth.

how to make playdough without tartar
No cream of tartar playdough
how to make playdough easy oatmeal recipe
Edible playdough for babies

If your oat flour and instant oatmeal are glutenfree, you will get a perfect gluten free playdough. Oatmeal play dough smells good, especially if you use some flavored outmeals.

Kool Aid Playdough Recipe No Bake

You can experiment with different flavors of Kool-Aid. Kool-Aid lets you create brightly colored homemade playdough with a very subtle scent. You won’t need any food coloring for this Kool Aid playdough recipe without cream of tartar.

It is the same easy recipe, only add a Kool-Aid packet into the hot water mixture, different color and sense for the next batch. Then continue the same steps as you would do with the basic simple playdough recipe.

Add flour if your dough gets sticky.

play dough recipes with Kool-Aid
Ingredients to make playdough with Kool-Aid
how do you make homemade playdough with Kool-Aid
Mixing together this DIY playdough without cream of tartar
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Good smelling playdough for kids

Dandelion Play Dough Recipe Without Cream of Tartar

You can use the natural dye in your own homemade playdough to form a color.

It will give your playdough a bright yellow color.

The secret color ingredient of your playdough is dandelion. You can add it to your basic playdough ingredients.

how to make playdough at home with dandelions - ingredients
Ingredients for playdough with dandelions

After you have boiled water and lemon juice in the microwave, add it to a blender with 1 cup of dandelion flowers. Add it slowly to the flour mixture and knead the dough until it achieves a smooth texture.

Try to add more water if your play dough is too dry.

play dough non toxic
How is playdough made with dandelions?

Edible Ice Cream Playdough

Edible ice cream playdough is a safe alternative to traditional play dough. It is made from frosting and icing sugar, so it is edible and safe for kids to eat. It’s perfect for summertime fun.

how to make playdoh ice cream - ingredients
No cooked playdough recipe Ingredients

Mix the ingredients and knead the dough till it reaches a smooth consistency.

homemade playdoh ice cream
Gluten free play dough
how to make edible play dough ice cream
Edible playdough 2 ingredients

Scented Playdough Recipe

Adding a scent to your own playdough can be a great way to add excitement and fun to your creations. It can be either a few drops of essential oils-, or spices from your kitchen cabinet. Cinnamon, pumpkin spice, ginger powder, cocoa powder, or instant coffee powder are all good options for adding scents to homemade scented play dough. We made some cinnamon salt playdough recipe that you can try out.

These scents can be used simply by adding them to the dough while it’s being formed.

You can add other natural ingredients to your recipe for playdough without cream of tartar at the final stage like lemon or orange zest or 2-3 pieces of crushed berries.

Fun Activity Ideas with Playdough 

Accessories can make playtime more enjoyable. They can enhance a child’s imagination and creativity. There are many amazing products on the market. 

Some of these tools can be probably found around the house.

playdough recipe without tartar
Cream of tartar substitute playdough

This is the list of our favorite tools and resources: 

Garlic press and potato ricer: they are great for making playdough hair, or spaghetti.

Potato masher with holes: smash the playdough and watch the “worms” coming out through the holes.

Cookie cutters: one of the most wanted tools. Use different sets for different themes. Or use the ones based on your kid’s interest.

Toddler scissors: they are perfect for practicing cutting skills. Roll a snake and cut it into pieces.

Beads and googly eyes: can be used to decorate the playdough.

how to make play dough spiders
Pumpkin spice playdough without cream of tartar

Toys with patterned surfaces: they can function as playdough stamps. 


What Can I Use Instead of Cream of Tartar in Playdough?

Cream of tartar helps the dough stand together, resist sticking, and form a smooth texture. There are a few things that can be substituted for cream of tartar in the homemade play dough recipe.

Lemon juice is a good option because it has the same acidity.

Baking soda is another great additive because it’s acting as a leavening agent.

Vinegar also works well in playdough, and corn starch can be used as a thickening agent.

homemade playdough no cream of tartar
Cream of tartar alternative solutions

How to Store Homemade Playdough without Cream Of Tartar?

Homemade playdough is a fun and creative way to spend time with your children, but it can be difficult to store it without the use of cream of tartar. 

Here are a few tips for storing homemade playdough without cream of tartar:

1. Store homemade playdough in an airtight container or zip bag.

2. Keep homemade playdough away from direct sunlight and heat.

3. Do not store homemade playdough for more than a few weeks.

how to make playdough with out cooking
Playdough storage box

How to Fix Sticky Playdough?

If you get a sticky dough, slowly add more flour until it reaches the wanted consistency.

How to Soften Crumbly Playdough?

If you’re finding that your DIY playdough is too dry and crumbly, try adding 1-2 tablespoons of water until it reaches the perfect consistency. We wrote another piece on how to make playdough softer – it is worth checking out!

To transform your kids’ homemade playdough creations into keepsakes, you can bake them in the oven until they harden. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to harden your kids’ homemade playdough masterpieces.

Photo of author


Eniko is a mother and wife, ex-teacher, and world traveler. Loves to be creative and admires spending quality time with her family. Enjoys outdoor activities-, and connecting to nature. She loves sharing her enthusiasm and inspiration. For more details check out Messy Learning Kids.

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