Making play dough is an amazing hands-on activity, science experiment and boredom buster rolled into one! Learn how to make simple “paint” dough by mixing only two ingredients that you likely already have around the house!


  • tempera paint
  • corn starch
  • mixing bowl
  • a large spoon


    1. paintdough-longScoop a couple of large, heaping spoonfuls of corn starch into a bowl.

    2. Squirt some tempera paint inside. You can eyeball the amount and add more paint or corn starch later until you achieve the right consistency.

    3. Mix vigorously until you achieve a thick paste.

    4. Using your hands, continue to blend the two ingredients. Add more corn starch if the mix seems too wet, or more paint if it's too crumbly.

    5. Once you have rolled the mixture into a dough ball, you can begin playing with it! If the dough ball is leaving a bunch of paint on your hands, sprinkle corn starch on a work surface and roll the ball through it, kneading until the dough ball is less wet; less wet means less messy!

    Make as many colors as you wish!

Caroline Gravino Urdaneta, a PBS Parents resident crafter, is a designer of creative family projects, tinkering painter and mother of four children. She writes about project ideas for the whole family and how to encourage creativity in kids on the popular blog, Salsa Pie and shares videos on the PBS Parents YouTube Channel. Subscribe HERE.

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