How to Make Cornstarch Play Dough

Making cornstarch play dough is fun and easy, and only three ingredients are needed: cornstarch, hair conditioner (yes) and food coloring. This recipe creates soft, stretchy play dough the kids will love.

Cornstarch play dough
Cornstarch play dough (Image: Michele Andersen)

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Things You'll Need

  • Cornstarch
  • Hair conditioner (Note: the play dough is going to smell like the conditioner, so choose a scent kids will like)
  • Big mixing bowl
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Smaller bowls for different colors (optional)
Bowl, conditioner, cornstarch and mixing spoon.
Bowl, conditioner, cornstarch and mixing spoon. (Image: Michele Andersen)

Mix Your Ingredients

Add two parts cornstarch for every one part conditioner in a bowl and mix well. You can use a spoon but the kids will love to use their hands!

If needed, keep adding generous pinches of cornstarch until you reach your desired consistency.

Add conditioner to cornstarch
Add conditioner to cornstarch (Image: Michele Andersen)

Make Your Colors

Separate the dough and put into individual bowls, depending on how many different colors you want. Add a few drops of your favorite food coloring to each bowl and mix well.

Add food coloring if desired and mix.
Add food coloring if desired and mix. (Image: Michele Andersen)


Explore the soft, stretchy play dough and have fun!

Note: you can store the dough for a few weeks in an airtight container.

Soft dough
Soft dough (Image: Michele Andersen)
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