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jello playdough - Best homemade playdough recipe ever!

Best Homemade Playdough Ever: Jello Playdough

Homemade playdough – If ever there was a quintessential DIY this is it!  Parents and children have been happily cooking up this stuff at home for decades.  Today our newest contributor Kaley is sharing her favorite play dough recipe using another kid classic: Jell-O (because it just wouldn’t be an MPMK post without some sort of twist). 

 

I think you’re going to love this recipe.  Kaley promises it comes out silky smooth and I could practically smell the fruity scents wafting form my computer as I read her post.

 

What kid doesn’t love play dough?  Squishy, cool, bright, and so fun to play with. Even better, it helps develop fine motor skills and imagination (check out lots more on the benefits of play dough here).  Instead of going out and buying commercial Play Doh, try making it at home!

 

It’s super easy, inexpensive, and a perfect project for the kids to help with. We love making our own play dough, and after trying a handful of different recipes we finally found a winner.  This play dough comes out in beautiful, soft shades, smells delicious, and feels the closest to store bought Play Doh of all the recipes we’ve tried.

 

jello playdough - best playdough recipe ever!

 

You will need:

  • white flour – 1 cup
  • warm water – 1 cup
  • salt – 2 tbsp
  • cream of tartar – 2 tbsp
  • cooking oil – 2 tbsp
  • Jello – 1 3oz pack
Click through for full instructions.

 

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Mix all of the ingredients together in a small saucepan.

 

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Even though it makes for a longer process and a lot more clean up, let the little ones do the measuring and mixing.  They learn so much from helping in the kitchen, and it’s really fun for them. Keep mixing until most of the lumps are gone.

 

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Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until it thickens into a ball of dough.  This step does take a little while.  Just keep stirring, you’ll know it’s ready when won’t be able to stir anymore.

 

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Once it has finished cooking, place the dough onto a silpat mat or floured cutting board and wait for it to cool.

 

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Once it is cool (at least 20-30 minutes) let the little ones knead it, adding in flour until it is no longer sticky (about 1/2 cup).  At this point, you can add in extra food coloring to make the colors more vibrant, or even add glitter.  I like to keep things simple, so this is how it looks with just the Jello.

 

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This recipe makes a lot of play dough.  You could easily half the recipe, and there would still be plenty to play with.

 

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Now let their little imaginations run wild.  My little one will literally spend hours playing with her play dough.  I love seeing what games she comes up with, and what tools she picks out to use with it. We don’t have special play dough tools, I let her rummage through the kitchen and use whatever plastic container or other child safe object she finds.

 

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When you are finished playing, store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.  It will keep for at least a few weeks in the refrigerator, with daily use.  If at any time it starts to be a little sticky, just add more flour.

 

Oh, and if you’re looking for some good tools to use while playing with your dough – this set is our favorite!

 

Want some more sensory play ideas?  Check out…
  1. Christmas DIY play dough, aka Indoor Snowmen - actually a very different texture than traditional playdough (sticks together more like snow) and uses only 2 ingredients.
  2. Homemade play dough alternative #2: Dr. Suess’ Oobleck - a DIY slippery, slimy activity that kids love and comes complete with a classic companion book.
  3. Homemade play dough alternative #3: Rainbow Scented Glitter Slime - an alternative DIY slime recipe that engages multiple senses.
  4. Homemade Peanut Butter Play Dough
  5. How to Reap the Many Benefits of Play dough - a brief primer on play dough play tools and benefits.
 

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Kaley is a photographer who spends her days starting lots of projects and finishing few of them. She lives in San Francisco with her awesomely creative daughter and her amazingly understanding husband.

{ 165 comments… read them below or add one }

Randalin. May 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Thanks for sharing this recipe. Your photo’s are stunning!

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Kaley May 30, 2012 at 1:57 am

Thanks Randalin!

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LessonPlans-CraftGossip May 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm

These are wonderful photos, and the colors of the dough are so beautiful too! Just posted on Craft Gossip!! Happy Creating!!

http://lessonplans.craftgossip.com/?p=6456

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Kaley May 30, 2012 at 2:08 am

Thanks! :)

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Kaely May 29, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I’ve been meaning to make some playdough now that the kids are out of school. I think we’ll try yours. I love the way Jello smells.

Nice to “meet” another Kaley close to my age. Most of the time I hear/see my name and it’s in reference to someone much younger than me. :)

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Kaley May 30, 2012 at 1:53 am

I love meeting other people with my name! :)

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Karla May 29, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I’ve always wondered with homemade rcipes if it stains and washes out of clothing easily (if ground in)?

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Kaley May 30, 2012 at 1:55 am

I haven’t had this ground into clothing, but I have had it all over my kitchen towels, and it actually rinsed out with plain water really easily. Hope that helps!

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Ruth May 30, 2012 at 11:38 am

Love the playdough recipe thanks. Just a quick question, I am from the UK so don’t get this Jello, I’m sure our jelly must be similar but it comes in different forms – is it like granules or the jelly cubes that you can buy?

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Anonymous May 30, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Jello is a flavored gelatin.

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spaceranger May 30, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Jello from the US is granular. (We don’t have cubes that I know of.)

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spaceranger May 30, 2012 at 2:28 pm

You can see the texture of the jello straight from the box in the first picture. :)

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Ixia January 22, 2013 at 4:48 am

You can buy Jello on Ebay in the UK, but it’s £2.80 – £3.50 a box, so it makes the project a bit expensive.

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Lara February 17, 2013 at 3:18 am

Just finished cooking the dough and am waiting for it to cool off. I am a Kindergarten Assistant here in Malta and have been dying to try this out. We don’t get Jell-O here either so I just used regular jelly :) Smells divine!! Thanks for the recipe!

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Anonymous May 31, 2012 at 1:05 am

Does this have to be refrigerated or can it be stored at room temperature?

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Kaley May 31, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Stored at room temperature it might get moldy after a day or too. Best bet is definitely refrigerated. :)

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Erin October 10, 2012 at 9:37 pm

I didn’t read these comments before making mine and we stored ours at room temp. When we played with it the 2nd time it was VERY sticky again, I tried adding more flour but had no luck so we tossed it. Apparently I missed some and found it a few days later all moldy. Ick!
If you refrigerate this, how long does it typically last??

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Lauren October 1, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Ours turned out super sticky.. We used 6oz yellow jello divided 3 ways and took everything down to 3/4cup, etc. Added green food coloring for a dark green, light green, & yellow. Looks lovely, but sticky as all heck… added about a cup of flour and it just isn’t working. ;( Letting it refrigerate to see what happens.

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Marty October 11, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Lauren, sounds like you did not cook it long enough. Mine took a bit to cook, and in the end it turned translucent – you could see the jello changing from whitey paste to waxy looking glob. I made sure all off it was the same consistency, switching to a wooden spoon after the silicone spatula did not mix it anymore.

I also added too much oil – 3 instead of two TBSP, so ours is a little greasy, but not sticky. After it was cooked and cooled down a bit, I added 1/3 cup of extra flour.

We used dark cherry and the color is awesome! Will get cheap jello packs in green, yellow and blue, and have fun with my boys. We molested this batch with cookie cutters, pizza slicer and egg slicer, forks, knives, and soda bottle roller. We made faces by adding ears and eyeballs to a round glob, and at the end were all red. I was afraid it would not wash easily, but water was all it took to get the hands clean.

Anonymous May 31, 2012 at 4:50 am

Thank you for sharing! Great photos! Can’t wait to try it!
California USA

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Naeema May 31, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Actually m totally new to this play dough i want to know does it also work like polymer clay or air dry clay? Like if i make sumthing with it does it dry hard or wut?? I seriously need information about this coz i have two nephews both under 4yrs :)

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Kaley May 31, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Hi Naeema – This is not doing to dry and harden like polymer clay or air dry clay. This is for the kids to play with over and over. Definitely try it out – your nephews will love playing with it!

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Unknown May 31, 2012 at 4:28 pm

I can’t wait to make this for my sunday school class this week. The craft calls for play dough and I was not wanting to dish out the dough for dough. LOL Thanks so much for sharing.

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Mel M. M. McCarthy May 31, 2012 at 7:50 pm

This is fabulous. Love that it uses Jello!

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Anonymous May 31, 2012 at 11:53 pm

Does it have to be sugar free? if it isn’t sugar free, do ants love it? Dumb “mommy” question :)

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Kaley June 2, 2012 at 4:08 am

I use the regular Jello and haven’t had any problems with ants. I do wipe the table with a wet cloth after playing with it, though.

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Anonymous June 1, 2012 at 1:06 am

I had the same question. Probably another good reason to refrigerate the play dough. For years I’ve made play dough using unsweetened Koolaid. It does not need refrigeration and lasts about 2 weeks when used by lots of kindergartners.

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Eddie June 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Thanks for sharing! I’ve done play dough with Kool-Aid before but never Jello. Since today’s a rainy day, guess what we’ll be making? :)

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Unknown June 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Does it taste good?

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AO June 2, 2012 at 8:45 pm

I’m wondering how much cup wise approximately is one 3 oz jello make? You made 7 different colors and is that the size that fits in those coveered cups from each box? I’m just wondering for future reference when I have other kids come over and play….

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Kaley June 3, 2012 at 9:38 pm

1 box of jello makes a really big ball, definitely enough for 2 kids. The photo of the playdough in the plastic containers is how much it made – those containers are pretty large! I actually only let my daughter play with half of each color because there was so much. Hope that helps!

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oana79 June 3, 2012 at 7:58 am

Excellent stuff, thanks for sharing!

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Silvas June 4, 2012 at 3:14 am

Want to try. But what’s cream of tartar:)

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Kaley June 5, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Cream of tartar is a white powder (looks like baking powder) used in cooking – you can usually find it near the spices and baking supplies in the grocery store. I actually ordered mine online, maybe from amazon?

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leecy June 5, 2012 at 2:42 am

Brilliant recipe! thank you I smells so much better then the normal playdough i have made :)

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Kali June 5, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Is there any other ingredients we could use besides gelatin jello? I don’t agree with how it is produced, could we possibly use jello pudding packets? haha I don’t know :P

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Kali June 5, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Koolaid! Read a comment up more :P Thanks.

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About Jessica: June 5, 2012 at 5:01 pm

By “cooking oil” do you mean just regular vegetable oil? Can’t wait to try this’

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Kaley June 5, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Hi Jessica – use any type of oil you would cook with. I have used vegetable oil, canola, olive oil, they all work great. Just don’t use baby oil or other inedible oils – it could be dangerous if your little one decides to try a bite! :)

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Donna June 6, 2012 at 6:48 am

Hi Kaley, Cant wait to make this for Dylan,Love all your pictures, see you soon:)

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Kaley June 13, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Thanks Donna! He will love it!

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Shawna Greenway June 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Thanks so much for posting this. My 4 year old and I made two colors yesterday and it was such a hit! And sooooo easy!! Even my 11 year old wanted to play with it and that never seems to happen anymore. The two of them played together for over an hour.

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Kaley June 13, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Yay! SO happy you loved it!

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Anonymous June 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm

is it edible :)

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Emily December 31, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Yes but tastes terrible!

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Anonymous June 8, 2012 at 8:04 pm

SMELLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
one of the smelliest times of my LIFE!!!!!
I used lemon!!!! :(
IT IS A DEATH TRAP!!!!!!!!!!! (Lemon)

I haven’t tried any other favors but I’m sure that now my mom won’t let me.
I’m 9

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Kaley June 13, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Sorry lemon didn’t work out for you, I have made yellow many times (it is my daughter’s favorite color) and have never had that problem. I have always used pineapple flavor, though. Maybe try a different flavor?

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Anonymous June 12, 2012 at 1:25 am

Love it! Used aeroplane jelly (in Australia) and its smells soooooo good. Thank you so much!

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Kaley June 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm

You’re welcome! Glad you liked it! :)

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lori l'armand June 13, 2012 at 2:50 am

thrilled! Thank you for the detailed and right-on directions! I swear more things i (try to) make would turn out if I were always presented this way. Did the blue color/flavor- can’t wait to try more! It’s really amazing how the consistancy changes- kiddos will have a blast playing with this tomorrow! it’s really a beautiful thing.

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Kaley June 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Thank you, so glad the tutorial helped!

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Anonymous June 17, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Aww, I wanted to make this and found out that I must have already “de-cluttered” the expired Jell-O packs I had when I cleaned out my kitchen cabinets recently! It looks like a lot of the other cooked play dough recipes, which always seem to turn out nice and soft, and not crumble or dry out your hands like the uncooked recipes. Can’t wait to try it!

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eakitch June 28, 2012 at 2:41 am

We made this tonight and the boys had a blast. I was very pleased with how easy it was to make and how “real” the play dough feels. I can’t wait to make more. Thanks!

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Anonymous June 28, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Can you use unflavored gelatin in place of the Jello?

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Emily December 31, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Definitely!

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Anonymous June 29, 2012 at 3:01 am

Is this Edible?

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Janice September 5, 2012 at 12:43 am

I ‘ve made it twice now- once with regular jello and once with unflavored gelatin (like Knox). Both times have made the best homemade play dough I’ve ever made (and I’ve tried quite a few). I’m guessing maybe it’s got better texture from the gelatin? It’s the closest thing to the “real” stuff I’ve ever tried! It even works in the little play dough machines. Love it! I’m recommending it to all my play dough making friends and relatives.

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Andrea September 9, 2012 at 7:41 pm

This totally molds! Please put an advisory on here. I made a few batches, was totally excited about it, shared it at church that day, they spent a bunch of money on the cream of tartar that it takes to make this, and it has all molded and been thrown out. I stored mine in airtight containers, the church stored theirs in sandwich baggies (one for each kid) and it ALL molded. I had such high hopes and the texture was awesome but I’m totally disappointed and feel a little misled.

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Shannon September 10, 2012 at 10:27 am

You shouldn’t feel misled! She says at the end that you need to store in an airtight container in the fridge. There’s an entire paragraph about it! It sucks that it molded, but anytime you cook something with edible ingredients, logic dictates that you cannot just leave it out indefinitely.

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EeeBee January 20, 2013 at 9:16 pm

If you don’t want to store it in the refrigerator you can use a recipe that uses more salt. The recipe I normally follow has 1/2 cup of salt for each cup of flour. I can keep it in tupperware in the pantry for 4-6 months. Not sure how that will effect the color if you use jello. I’ve always used food coloring.

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marwa September 10, 2012 at 3:05 am

i don’t have cream of tartar, can i use something else cause i guess i’ll not find it here in our markets?

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Amanda September 13, 2012 at 9:08 pm

I love this recipe! I know some people will be intimidated by this, but it’s really easy and it doesn’t take long to cook it up. I’ll remember to keep it in the fridge, as I could see it molding if it isn’t.

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Raghu September 20, 2012 at 1:46 am

This is the best site, i am from India and was looking for some Kids stuff which i can make at home instead of going for expensive toys from shops. and your site has enough information to keep us busy for next couple of months.

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June September 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Hi!! So pretty! Made my first batch of berry blue yesterday and it came out great. But today it’s very sticky. I tried kneading more flour into it but I is still sticky :P. What did I do wrong? Could it be because I didn’t realize I needed to refrigerate it? Thanks!!

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Dan September 24, 2012 at 9:32 am

hi, thanks for sharing this! can’t wait to try, just a quick question, the jello is the cream of tartar or what’s the purpose for the jello ?

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Lucy September 29, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Hi I don’t know why mine is very sticky and I have added lots of flower what going on

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Anon December 10, 2012 at 2:47 am

Maybe use flour instead? lol

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Emily December 31, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Let it cool completely then add flour. It takes quite a bit.

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Katy October 6, 2012 at 10:22 am

I love this recipe it is much more malleable than the marketed play dough! I also added Vanilla and Almond extracts to make it smell even more delicious! It took a ton of flour added in after cooking for Lucy’s information. Just keep adding flour and you will get it how you want it!

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Lisa October 16, 2012 at 11:01 am

This stuff is amazing – easy, cheap, fun, smells good, and is fun to play with when its still warm on a nice cool fall day! :) Thanks for sharing!!

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Marlene October 30, 2012 at 4:50 am

Hi There

Me and my Little girl made some this weekend!! Wow what nice dough this is, as soon as her eyes open she wants to play with it!!

Regards

Marlene

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Sara November 2, 2012 at 11:19 am

I just tried this recipe and the play dough turned out awesome! Thank you :)

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Julie November 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Just made this for my girls and it turned out great! Super easy and tons of fun. Followed the instructions exactly (we did grape) and its perfect. Isa (2 1/2) saids “mell it mommy. Mells good!” lol. Thanks!

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Jane November 4, 2012 at 2:39 pm

- awesome recipe – easy to follow directions. I used the cheapest flour & off-brand gelatin.

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Amber November 7, 2012 at 3:14 pm

What flavor Jello did you use to make red? I’m throwing an Olivia themed birthday party and red would make a great party favor!

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Kaley January 2, 2013 at 8:40 pm

I used Strawberry Banana for the red.

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Amber November 7, 2012 at 3:15 pm

What flavor Jello did you use to make red? I’m throwing an Olivia themed birthday party and red would make a great party favor!

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jessica November 10, 2012 at 10:14 am

Probably Cherry Or Strawberry

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Louise November 8, 2012 at 3:01 am

Hey there! When I originally made this I forgot to store it in the fridge, that was weeks ago and ours isn’t moldy yet!
I used jelly from the uk? Unfortunate we only have 3 flavours.

I’m hoping to make some for my daughters school fair, could you please tell me where you bought the little tubs from? Thanks!

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Kaley January 2, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Hi Louise,
I actually bought them at a store in Honduras, although I am sure you can find them elsewhere.

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Flor November 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Hi! I’ m from Argentina And Will try this with my son!
I only have one question… 13oz of jello or 1,3oz???
Here we have 70gr (2,47 oz) packs of gelatina…

Thanks for your help !

Flor

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Monica November 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm

it’s actually one 3oz package… so slightly more than your package it sounds like :)

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Claudette February 6, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Thanks Flor, for the question & Monica, for the answer. I also read the ingredients list as 13 oz. I’m from SA & the biggest size box we have is 80g or 3.2 oz. Relieved it’s not 13 oz as that would be a lot of boxes & a bit expensive too.

Trying this out tomorrow with my 3 yr old lg :)

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Jennifer November 16, 2012 at 10:53 am

Going to make this for Christmas stocking gifts ! My kids want play dough so badly and this is a gift I can make thanks to you!! Thanks for the post and the blue smells like heaven!

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riya November 19, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Kaley your photos are fabulous!

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Kaley January 2, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Thanks, Riya!

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Diane November 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm

I made this recipe and another one to compare. This was sticky, used more than twice the amount of cream or tartar and just didn’t work for me. The other was done in 5 minutes and ready to use. I don’t recommend this one.

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Emily December 31, 2012 at 6:22 pm

This means either it didn’t cool completely or you didn’t cook it long enough.

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Kaley January 2, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Try cooking it longer and kneading in more flour. More cream of tartar won’t hep out with the stickiness at all. This recipe takes a few minutes longer than some others but it is so worth it!

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Melissa @ Love Bug Living November 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm

This looks good enough to eat! I featured it on my stocking stuffer round up! http://www.lovebugliving.com/2012/11/handmaking-holidays-stocking-stuffer.html

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Sharon November 29, 2012 at 10:55 am

Can this be dried out? I want to do hand print ornaments for my son’s first Christmas, but don’y want to use actual play dough or clay.

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Jessica November 30, 2012 at 7:48 am

Thanks for this recipe, I am a pre-k teacher and I have tried so many different play dough recipes and this is the best one I have made yet!

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Alexxi December 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Does it harden

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Kathleen W. December 3, 2012 at 3:45 am

I love this idea! I’ve heard about making your own play dough using peanut butter (and a few other things that I can’t remember). But, with an almost 17 month old, we’re nervous about giving him anything with nuts.. Anyways, I seen that a few people had asked if it was edible, but got no reply. (I know you’re probably busy :p) Might be a “dumb” question, seeing as it’s made of Jell-O.. LOL Because I’d LOVE to try this out. But, knowing my husband, he’d be concerned about our sin eating it. TIA :]

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Anon December 10, 2012 at 2:51 am

All the ingredients are edible so the play dough will be too, surely?

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Emily December 31, 2012 at 6:20 pm

It would be edible but as you said this I licked what I just made in my hand. Its amazingly gross tasting.

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Kaley January 2, 2013 at 8:44 pm

I guess technically it is edible, because all of the ingredients are edible. But I wouldn’t recommend allowing your little on to eat it. Especially after grimy little hands have been playing with it. :)

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Dania December 5, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Can’t wait to make this recipe it sounds so good! @Sharon, have you seen the recipe for salt dough ornaments? http://www.modernparentsmessykids.com/2011/12/diy-salt-dough-ornaments-possibly-most.html

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Sandrina December 6, 2012 at 5:00 am

Hello! Thanks a lot for this recipe! I’ll try it soon!
I still have few questions as alternatives:
* for the jello: can we use food coloring?
* for the cream of tartar: using baking powder?

I’m from Madagascar and a bit confused of finding those 2 ingredients in our local markets.
Thanks again :-)

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Emily December 31, 2012 at 6:18 pm

The cream of tartar is what makes it stretchy so it is kind of a must, and the Jello is the base. Try making play-doh with a different recipe if you can’t find jello. there are many others. You should be able to find cream of tartar easily, it’s in the spice section.

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Emily December 31, 2012 at 6:16 pm

I tried this recipe while on babysitting duty for my little brother (3), I worked well and smells A-M-A-Z-I-N-G I see why you said “Wait until cool until you add the flour” I tried to do it while warm and it made no difference but once it cooled it was fine. It’s so silky smooth and it doesn’t have that strange grainy feel nor leave crusty residue like most homemade dough do. FABULOUS!

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Leanne Dupont January 1, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I don’t have any cream of tartar and can’t get to the store to buy any for a few days, as I am home with sick kids :( But I read on another website that you can use vinegar or lemon juice as a substitute for cream of tartar. Cream of tartar is powdered tartaric acid and the vinegar or lemon juice does the same thing. Measure out the same amount of vinegar as is called for cream of tartar, but put that in the measuring cup that you’re using for the water. Then just fill up the rest of the way with water so as to not throw off the amount of moisture. I haven’t done this with the jello, but I’m going to try it.

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Edna Wallace January 8, 2013 at 6:50 pm

There are many play dough recipes, but I’ve never seen one that looked quite so elegant!
May i have permission to print the recipe and the photo of the little girl in our April issue of parent pages newsletter? Our newsletter service is used by school districts, head starts, abd universities throughout the U.S.

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aliyah January 11, 2013 at 2:40 pm

i put my playdough in an air tight container but now its sticky

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Tara January 23, 2013 at 7:44 pm

I think you just need to add a little more flour to it when it gets sticky.

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Chelsie January 11, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Found this recipe on Pinterest, I didn’t have any Cream of Tarter (usually used for its acidity) so I substituted with one tbsp of lemon juice. The texture and colour turned out great! Still smells like ordinary homemade Play Doh though, not like the Lemon-lime Jell-O I was hoping for!!

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Tara January 23, 2013 at 7:43 pm

I just made this with my 3 year old. I can’t thank you enough for this recipe! I thought it was amazingly easy and the end result just ROCKS! So much better than store-bought Play Doh in every aspect: better texture, better smell. I love how long it stays soft. We are really excited to make more colors and never buy regular Play Doh again. :) I’m sharing this recipe with everyone!!

Thank you!!

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Pauli Ranney January 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm

I just wanted to say a big Thank You! This has been by far, the very best recipe I have ever made. This kids love the texture and it was fun to make with them. :)

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mpmk January 25, 2013 at 7:15 pm

I’m so glad you guys had fun.

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Audrey January 31, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Your blog is simply gorgeous and I love this idea! Thanks!

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mpmk January 31, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Thank you so much (blush) – all the credit here goes to our incredible contributor Kaley!

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Lisa February 12, 2013 at 8:36 pm

I tried this recipe. Mostly because I wanted a deep red color. It worked, I used the strawberry banana. I did add two little tubes of red food coloring gel, but I dont think I had to. It seems the color deepens as the dough cooks and cools. I think, had I been patient it would have still been very red. I could have always added more color later and kneaded it in. The playdough does have a much better feel than the traditional recipe that I have used before. This new recipe uses much less salt. My kids always hated all the salt put in my old recipes, it would get in hangnails and papercuts and hurt their hands and dry them out. It doesn’t have much scent to it though. I think I may knead in some peppermint flavoring to see if that gives it a minty smell. I did put in lots of glitter the kids love that. Also I was making it for an entire class so I made five batches at once, and had no problem. I always refrigerated my dough even when I didn’t have to so that is not an issue. Thanks for the bright red dough, no more vomit pink.

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Rena March 5, 2013 at 7:43 am

Love this recipe, I have made it and its very easy. It taste gook to the kids. So watch out they may eat as much as the play with.

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Carol March 24, 2013 at 1:23 am

I’ve been teaching Kdg for over 30 years and I’ve used this recipe for years….however, I always use food colouring to dye the play dough. It has never become moldy…perhaps it’s the jello. If I want to add a scent I add vanilla extract. However, I find kids want to eat it if it smells too good.

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Jaweda April 6, 2013 at 10:33 am

O thanks so much, i had been looking for a good tested recipe it d i tried ur recipe, i didnt get cream of tartar so i substituted it with lemon juice. and i didnt have jello so i used regular food colorings. i needed more dough so i doubled the recipe…and it turned out amazing, my first try at playdough…my first experience with playing with it with my son n he loved it so much….wanted to ask, can i use self raising flour or pizza flour too?if yes what kind of texture is expected.? thanks once again.:)

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Dior April 11, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Where do you buy those fabulous plastic storage containers?

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Kaley May 2, 2013 at 11:50 am

Hi Dior,
I actually fount them at a store in Honduras, but they are like the plastic takeout containers that you would get soup in. Maybe you could find them at a warehouse type store?

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Selena April 13, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Just made a few batches for my kinder class next week! They are going to love it! We are going to use it to build our sight words and spelling words!

It was so easy to make…and cheap!

Thanks so much!

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Aurore April 16, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Love this! Thank you so much! I shared this on my own blog.

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jackie April 17, 2013 at 5:51 pm

it smells amazing!!!!!!

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Sally Chippendale April 24, 2013 at 3:11 am

Kids are playing with it now and my 3 year says she prefers it to the regular stuff. I think because she loves the smell of strawberry jelly. I found it was less sticky once its been in the fridge over night. Brilliant thank you!

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Tiffany April 25, 2013 at 2:44 am

Has anyone tried freezing it? I’ve got my daughters birthday in a few weeks and wanted to make a heap for the kids to play with on the day but wanted to get ahead start on it all. Thanks!!

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Kaley May 2, 2013 at 11:44 am

Hi Tiffany,
I have never tried freezing it, but please let us know if you do and how it works!

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Tosha April 26, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Im doing homemade play dough for my daughters birthday party, about how much does a portion make? I love the idea of it smelling good:)

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Kaley May 2, 2013 at 11:47 am

Hi Tosha,
One portion makes a lot! You can see in this post where I made it for my daughter’s preschool class: http://www.kaleyann.com/2012/06/play-dough-favors/
This is one portion of each color.

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Kristie May 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Just made this. Not for sure if something went wrong, but it’s beyond sticky and I’ve added and added flour, until I’m not willing to waste anymore. In the future, I’ll probably do a no cook method, because this is nothing more than biscuit dough ;)

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Kaley May 2, 2013 at 11:49 am

Hi Kristie,
Sorry it didn’t work out for you! It sounds like maybe it needed to be cooked a little while longer. It is definitely a bit more complicated than the no cook play dough but so worth it.

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Christina May 3, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Hi! This sounds awesome; I just had one question: does the Jello stain things? (Hands, wood surfaces, clothing, etc.)

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Kaley June 9, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Hi Christina,
I haven’t had it stain anything and we use it on a white table… but maybe be careful just in case?

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Kim May 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm

I’ve made 2 batches of this play dough recipe and LOVE it! So does my preschooler. It was easy to whip up and smelled great…and the feel of it is way better than regular play dough. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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Rathi May 9, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Tried this Yday with my 4.5yr old daughter, she loved it. It came out perfect, smelled gr8 too. Thanks for sharing!

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shadi May 12, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Dear kaley
thank you very much for Best Play Dough Ever…
Im from Iran and i made it… it smells perfect…

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Kaley June 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Thanks Shadi! So happy you liked it!

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Maddy June 9, 2013 at 2:03 am

Can you store this in bags?

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Kaley June 9, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Absolutely! The quart size ziplock bags would work perfectly. Just make sure to keep them in the refrigerator.

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jackie June 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm

love this!!! go to summer activity with kids i babysit!!

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Morgan June 20, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Super excited to try this recipe out with my niece on Monday! We are definitely going to try for purple and pink, her to favorite colors.

I made a recipe like 5 years ago, but it was so crumbly and gross so I hope this one will work great! I have high hopes because I would hate to have to buy it at the store. :(

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Jo Beth July 14, 2013 at 3:33 am

I’d love to make this for my little granddaughters; however, one of them has celiac disease, which would prevent using flour. I’m wondering if a gluten-free flour would give good results–anyone have any idea about this?? Thanks!

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Cameron July 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm

I think this Recipe is genius. Thanks for sharing (:

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Michelle August 3, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Just made this and my almost 5 year old loves it, she has spent the last hour and a half in creative play. I could not resist playing with it too! Thanks for the recipe.

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MacKenzi August 6, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Would it be possible to make this in a quarter batch instead? I want to make a lot of colors but I am unsure about how much we would have in the end.

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Debra August 12, 2013 at 11:25 am

I just made this using 2 packages of Knox instead of the jello and lemon olive oil instead of the cooking oil. (That is all I had at home to work with.) My son is thrilled with it and it smells great. Needing the warm dough was great for my arthritic hands also!

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Debra August 12, 2013 at 11:26 am

kneeding. sorry!

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Julia August 18, 2013 at 5:45 pm

I just made this but I didn’t want to have to cook it, so I microwaved the water til it was boiling. Then after mixing I added about two to three more cups of flour. I kneaded it until it cooled and was less sticky. Came out great!!

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Megan August 19, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Do you Need to use the Cream of Tader?

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Danette September 17, 2013 at 12:36 pm

I have 3 kids and buying play dough can get expensive. I thank you for the recipe plus I can get them to help out a little in making it.

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kate September 27, 2013 at 5:20 am

In south Australia, just made bubblegum flavour with my 4 year old and 18month old sons who haven’ t stopped playing with it! Love it

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Jamie October 2, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Thank you for the recipe. I never thought about adding Jello.

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Andrea October 15, 2013 at 2:42 am

I really want to try this but I don’t have any cream of tartar. Any substitution?

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Amy J November 16, 2013 at 6:23 pm

I just made this for my kids and it turned out beautifully! Thanks so much for sharing!

Amy

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Rae S December 7, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Just made this for my daughters 3rd birthday party, so easy and it came out great! I had enough for all the kids to play with during the party and I sent each child home with a little personal container full. I used a combo of jello and kool-aid depending on what was available in each color!

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Leanne Loach January 8, 2014 at 2:30 am

Excellent! It would be special and helped to all the day care centres and their children. My name is Leanne Loach and working at day care centre in Maroochydore, Australia!

I’m going to tweet this one!

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Tina January 18, 2014 at 4:42 am

Do you think this could be made gluten free with rice flour or tapioca starch instead of flour?

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Addi January 26, 2014 at 11:36 am

I love this! My boys are really going to enjoy making this. Not only will we have a great time making it but it helps promote imaginative play. Thanks!

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Alexa February 15, 2014 at 7:16 pm

Great recipe! I always use it. This time however, im out of cream of tartar. Is it necessary in this recipe? How does it help the play dough in texture? Thanks!

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izan February 20, 2014 at 6:00 pm

may i know how long can the dough last? May need to put an expiry date on the dough container. Thank you.

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mensmuscleandstrength2014.wordpress.com May 7, 2014 at 5:49 am

bookmarkeɗ!!, I love your wеЬ site!

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Lesley Smith June 15, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Hi Kaley,

I know a few others have asked, but have you ever tried using an acidic substitute for the cream of tarter? I’m from the U.S., but I live in Honduras and work at a children’s development center that has limited funding. This seems like a great project for us, but we do not have access to buy cream of tarter. If you know the best substitute, could you please let me know?

Thank you so much for this recipe! It is such a big help to us that we can use Jello instead of food coloring (which we also don’t have!).

Lesley

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Kaley June 15, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Hi Lesley,

We were actually living in Honduras when I wrote this post. I ordered the cream of tartar online but then ended up finding it locally at the PriceMart in Tegucigalpa. I also saw it at Stock (on Suyapa) in Tegucigalpa.

I have never made it without the cream of tartar, so I don’t know how it would turn out.

Good Luck!

Kaley

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Lesley Smith June 17, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Oh my, what a small world! PriceSmart is good for everything, isn’t it? We actually live in a much smaller city (Danli) where we practically only have La Colonia and Mendel’s! I’ll have to look for it at PriceSmart next time we can make the trip to Teguc.

Thanks for all your help!

Lesley

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Courtneya2501 June 18, 2014 at 11:20 am

Just made this today with my 4 year old, what a super easy fantastic recipe! Literally took only minutes for each ball/color we made! Thank you so much for posting! :p

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Lisette July 1, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Where did you get the containers to store the play dough in?

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J July 10, 2014 at 10:25 am

Just made this with my 2 and half year old. Smells good, feels good, and fun! The hardest part was waiting the 20 minutes for it to cool. Thank you so much for the recipe! My daughter hates getting dirty, but this play dough is so easy to work with that it doesn’t stick to her hands. Big success! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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Cinnamon July 28, 2014 at 11:13 am

In this it says “click through for full instructions” but I can’t find anything to click on to find the actual instructions.. does it need to be done in a certain order, or just in the order the ingredients are listed?

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