Rainbow No-Cook Play Dough

I’ve always been a fan of homemade play dough. When I was a little girl my mom would make cooked dough on the stovetop, and it was wonderful. Cooked play dough is good stuff, but it’s not-so-convenient to make, and kids can’t help as much.

This no-cook play dough recipe is a great alternative because it comes out smooth and squishy.

Small-Batch Play Dough


I love a big batch of dough to play with, but since it’s lots of fun to have lots of colors, this recipe is scaled to make a single ball of dough at a time.

Play Dough Ingredients

Ingredients (makes one small ball of dough):

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons salt
1/4 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
food coloring

Note: Boiling water helps this dough come together well, however, if you want to make the dough with young children, you can use hot water instead. It will be a little less smooth, but it will work, and with less risk of burning precious fingers.

Mix Dry Ingredients

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

Mix wet ingredients

Combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl.

I’m often stingy with the food coloring, but for vibrant colors, be sure to use plenty. For the pink dough, I used 10-12 drops, but for the others I used 15-20.

Stir in the food coloring for best results.

Stir wet into dry

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and start mixing.

Mix together

Stir, stir, stir until the dough starts to look like this. It will be a little crumbly, but you should see it resembling dough.

Knead into dough

Knead the dough on your counter. It should not be sticky. If it’s too sticky, add a little flour, but be careful not to add too much or your dough will be too firm to really work with.

When you go to knead it, the dough will be warm. Even when using boiling water, it should be a safe temperature for little ones to work with. Still, test it first!

Make a bunch of colors

Mixing up a small batch of this play dough is easy, and super quick. So before you start putting away your supplies, go ahead and make a few more balls of rainbow-colored dough!

Keep the dough in air-tight containers or in zip-storage bags. It should last several months.

Make play dough in many colors Mix a rainbow of play dough

You can print the recipe out and keep it handy for the next time you want to make a rainbow of dough!

No-Cook Play Dough Printable Recipe

Have fun making dough with your kids!