Easy Recipes for Homemade Clay

A batch of homemade clay is an easy and economical way to keep your kids entertained for hours on a rainy day. Using basic ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, you can make all different kinds of play doughs and homemade modeling clays that are perfect for kids of all ages. Younger children will enjoy the experience of just squishing and squeezing the clay in their hands, while older children may prefer to make pots and figures that they can dry and paint. Here are a few recipes that your kids will love.

Basic Play Dough
This recipe keeps for quite a while in a sealed zipper bag or plastic container, so you can keep it for whenever the kids need something to do. It's soft and pliable, making it perfect for little hands.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • food coloring (optional)

Combine all the ingredients except the food coloring in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until it thickens into a dough. Turn it out onto the counter. When it's cool enough to handle, knead the dough a little and divide it into balls. Add a few drops of food coloring to each ball and knead to distribute the color.

Cornstarch Clay
This recipe makes a dough with a lovely sheen. It can be air-dried or baked in a 200-degree oven to dry to your kids can save their creations.

  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups salt
  • 1 1/3 cups cold water

Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until it thickens up. Turn out onto the counter, and cover with a damp towel. When it's cool enough to handle, knead it until it's smooth.

Edible Clay
This dough lets your kids eat their creations. One word of warning, however; this recipe contains peanut butter and milk, so it is not suitable for children with food allergies.

  • 1/2 cup of smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup of powdered milk
  • 2 tbsp honey

Blend all the ingredients until smooth and pliable. If the dough is too sticky, add more powdered milk.

Simple Salt Clay
This non-cooked recipe is so simple, kids can probably make it themselves. It is perfect for drying and painting.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup water

Combine all the ingredients and knead until smooth. That's it!

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