I've tried many play dough recipes over the years and this one is, by far, the best yet. It is made with common pantry items and is ready to play with, literally, in a few minutes!! It's soft, pliable and super easy to work with. When the kids are done with it,keep it in an airtight container in the fridge.
EASY PLAY DOUGH
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup table salt
2 cups water
4 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
food coloring (see note)
Put everything in a large, heavy bottomed, sauce pan and cook (stirring) on medium high until this comes away from the sides of the pan and thickens to the consistency of Play Doh (it just takes a couple minutes). Make sure you have a very sturdy wooden spoon to stir this with and it takes a little elbow power at the very end.
Remove the cooked dough from the sauce pan and knead it for a minute or so until it becomes smooth. I did this kneading stage with my stand mixer which cooled the dough down almost immediately (a good thing).
If you want the play dough to be all the same color, add the food coloring with the water before cooking. I wanted to try two colors, so I divided the cooked dough in half and put half in my stand mixer (for the kneading step) and I added food color paste to the dough while the machine was kneading the dough (this step can be done by hand, but I would suggest you use rubber gloves so you don't get green fingernails).
My one concern with using the concentrated food color paste was that it would come off on my hands when I "played" with the final product...it did not!! This is a great weekend project for the kids!!
NOTE: The colors in this photo were obtained by using Wilton frosting color paste, which is very concentrated color. You can use ANY food coloring that you like (or NO food coloring).