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Play dough is so cheap and easy to buy, I never understood why parents would want to make their own. That is, until my daughter’s stash dried up and she wanted more, and I wanted to not have to leave my house. This recipe was so easy to make, and is so much softer than the store-bought stuff, I’ll never go back. Bonus: if you buy the right type of cornstarch, it’s gluten free. Downside: it’s not taste-safe, so not recommended for the littlest of littles who are still putting things in their mouths.

For ages: 2.5+

Adult involvement: Limited to no supervision required

Messiness factor (on a scale of 1-3): 2


You only need two ingredients, both of which you probably already have:

  • Corn starch and
  • Hair conditioner
  • (and a third ingredient, food dye, if you want to add colours)



Part of what makes this recipe so easy to make is that you only need to remember this: one part conditioner to two parts corn starch. I used three cups of corn starch and 1.5 cups of hair conditioner.

– In a mixing bowl, combine your conditioner with a blob of food dye (if you want to colour it). Then add the corn starch and mix with your hands.

– If you find the dough too dry, add a small glob of conditioner. If it’s too sticky, add a tbsp of corn starch. Not all conditioner is created equal, so you may need to tweak as you go.

– That’s it. Mix until you have a consistency you like. It should be silky and velvety. Keep in mind it’s going to smell very conditioner-y, so use a brand with a smell you like.

– Store in an air-tight container. Have fun!

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