With the Kids

3 Ingredient Play Dough to Make in Minutes

Play dough is one of my favorite homemade crafts to make with my kids. Especially since it’s so easy to whip up and brings instant fun for hours. There are a few recipes I’ve shared here before, but this recipe for 3 ingredient play dough using baking soda and cornstarch is the best! Read on for more details.

Making 3 Ingredient Play Dough in 5 Minutes

Here’s the quick and easy recipe for homemade play dough, you’ll have it ready in 5 minutes! Watch our video to see just how easy it is. Follow the recipe and instructions below to make it today!

3 Ingredient Play Dough to Make in Minutes:


  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 3/4 cup water
  • optional: 2-3 drops of essential oils are fun to add in
  • optional: 4-5 drops of food coloring

3 Ingredient Play Dough Supplies in 5 Minutes


1. In a saucepan with NO heat, add the cornstarch, baking soda, water and stir.

2. Place your saucepan on the stove top and turn your heat to medium.

Make Play Dough in 5 Minutes with 3 Ingredients

3. Continue stirring the mix constantly. It will start to bubble slightly and that’s when it happens really fast. It will begin to turn solid. Once a ball starts to form (4-5 minutes) take your pan off the heat.

Making Play Dough in 5 Minutes with 3 Ingredients

4. Place your dough onto a piece of parchment paper or a silicone mat. Let it cool, it will be very hot. To speed the cooling process, flip it over and knead it a bit as it’s cooling down. Be careful, it’s HOT.

Making Play Dough in 5 Minutes with 3 Ingredients

5. Once your dough is cool you have the option of adding in a food coloring or a scent. Option: add 2-3 drops of essential oil, we used lemon, and knead it into the dough. Option: add drops of food coloring to your desired colored, even 1 drop will give it some color.

Adding Lemon Essential Oils to Homemade Play Dough

That’s it, super easy! Now it’s time to play. Get out the cookie cutters, lollipop sticks, and plastic utensils and have some fun creating! Your kids are gonna love this.

How to Make 3 Ingredient Play Dough for Kids

Play with Homemade Play Dough Using Only 3 Ingredients

You can add colors, smells, and textures to your play dough to enhance your play dough play.

Pin this recipe for later:

3 Ingredient Play Dough Recipe to Make

7 ways to have fun with your homemade play dough:

7 Ways to Get Creative with Homemade Play Dough

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  1. I am a grandma across the country working with a kindergartner who is homeschooling I’m looking for some clever ideas creatively to work with art projects. That’s cool for 35 years but they’re all upper secondary grades so this is new for me

  2. Made this today with my 4 yr, old grandson. So easy and came out beautiful. I didn’t add oils or food coloring. Where ready to have some fun. How long does it last? I’m going to store it in a zip lock bag. Thank you.

  3. It looked great for us until I tried to kneed it and it just crumbled to a powder ? the opposite problem others had. I’ve clearly done something very wrong.

  4. I used washable paint to color my dough instead of food dye, you need more Paint than food dye to get a good pigment so the first batch ended up gooey the next day after sitting because it was to wet. I tried again but made sure to add the paint BEFORE I cooked it and it turned out perfect. We also used lavender oil and this is my favorite stuff now!

  5. I decided I was going to go out on a limb today and try this recipe. I work daily with all ages of kiddos and thought it would be cool. Holy easy fun!! I ended up with 6 batches! I followed everything to a T. (Except the food coloring . I added it while cooking each batch. The colors were more pastels.) Fabulous! Amazing and super fun! Kiddos loved it! Thank you so much for this recipe!!

  6. Turned out great!
    We were a bit worried at first as it was quite sticky but after adding some more cornstarch it changed to the perfect play dough consistency! I added a little less water and more cornstarch to the next batch and that turned out brilliantly straight away! Thank you for this recipe – me and my daughter had so much fun making it!!!

  7. This was great! Loved adding essential oils too. For sure while kneading it we added cornstarch and baking soda. It made the consistency less sticky and smooth. Thanks for the recipe and tip about the container in the fridge.

  8. I made this twice. The first time it came out a sticky mess and was horrible, just like what other commenters are describing. It just did not look like what was in the pictures. I read through the article and comments again and was pretty sure I was doing something wrong but I felt like I followed the recipe to a T. I decided to try it again the next day. The second time I doubled the recipe. It hit me as I was measuring out the ingredients that in the first batch I made, I halved the recipe but I forgot to half the water. The second large batch came out great. If you are having issues with stickiness and you changed recipe volume, consider that something might have went wrong there. If it is overly sticky, there is too much moisture. If you add in more cornstarch and it’s still sticky, add in more baking soda too, bc if it’s super sticky, you’ve got wayyyyy too much water.

  9. You people are too hard….so it’s a little sticky, so add more cornstarch. We co tinued to knead the dough in cornstarch until we could use it. I would maybe change the recipe to 3/4 c – 1c. Cornstarch next time.

  10. This is so freaking sticky mess. It was melting in our hands within seconds of playing with it. My 2.5 yo loved it but I also had to wash her down several times. I thought unfollows the recipe but ????? If others didn’t have this issue then maybe I did some thing wrong and we’ll try again.

  11. I made this play dough,I thought it was fun. Sorry I don’t have any kids. I wanted to try it out. I enjoy trying new crafts.?

  12. I really love this recipe for play dough at first my play dough kinda looked like mash potatoes but I kept stirring it then I lairs it out and added a little more corn startch and very little flour and I kept kneading it and now it’s soft and feels like play dough my kids enjoyed it with cookie cutters and straws thank you for the recipe

  13. This was a disaster. I followed all the ingredients in the right order and it was left so sticky. I tried adding more cornstarch but this did not help what so ever. This is the worst play-dough recipe I have ever seen. Do not try this unless you want your hands to look like you’ve been playing with mash potatoes.

  14. Idk what we did wrong, but ours is sticky and super soft.????? We couldn’t make molds with it and it also left a nasty film on our hands. My daughter asked me to go back to our old

    1. Hi Jaime,

      I’m so sorry for your troubles! Could it be that you forgot one of the ingredients? Maybe you didn’t cook it quite long enough to form together? Or knead it long enough to get it to form more solid? I’ve made this several times and haven’t run into anything like this, so I’m not quite sure what else it could be.

      Again, so sorry this didn’t work out. If you try it again, please let me know how it went your second time around!

      Good luck!

  15. Thank you for the simple recipe! I’m going to make this for my daughter today!! How long will it stay softened? Do you suggest any way of storing it?


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