In Preschool, Toddler

There are tons of recipes for homemade play dough, but this is the best we’ve found! It’s soft, easy to work with, and not sticky or crumbly! This Pumpkin Spice Play Dough Recipe makes about three to four large fist-sized balls of dough; adjust as necessary to make more.

This Thanksgiving season, you can get in the spirit of the season by adding a teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice directly to the dry ingredients before you mix.  It won’t exactly taste delicious, but it sure will smell good!


• 2 cups flour
• 1/2 cup salt
• 4 tbsp Cream of Tartar



• 2 cups water
• 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
• Food coloring

pumpkin pie playdough |


Mix the dry ingredients in a large pan with a whisk. Form a well, then add the wet ingredients including food coloring. Whisk it very well prior to turning the stove on – I’ve found this is a critical step to make sure the playdough is super smooth and not lumpy!   Turn on medium heat and stir constantly with the whisk.  The dough will be very smooth at first, but then quickly turns very lumpy – just keep stirring!!  I usually quickly toss the whisk in the sink and grab a strong wooden spoon at this point because it will become very thick and gooey very fast.  Keep stirring and scraping the liquid off the sides of the pot and mix it back into the blob in the center.

Continue stirring for approximately three or four minutes until it becomes too hard to stir and starts to look like the worst batch of mashed potatoes you ever made! This process goes very fast, and you need to remove it from the heat a little before you think the mixture is totally “cooked.” The mixture will be soft but only slightly sticky.  It will look so awful that you will be convinced you didn’t do it right.  (We’ll update this someday with some actual pictures of the process!)

Let it cool for a few minutes, then scrape everything from the sides and bottom of the pot to be able to grab it and start kneading into balls on a hard cool surface.   The dough should feel very soft and smooth, and have a nice “elasticity” to it.  This is a great recipe because it stays soft and does not get crumbly.

The dough can be stored in an airtight container or ziplock bag in the refrigerator for up to three days.


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