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Homemade Play Dough Recipe

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This fun, cheap, easy play dough recipe is so therapeutic and fun to play with. Not only is it simple (only 2 ingredients!), it is pillowy soft and perfect for little hands. We call this toddler sensory activity “Ice Cream Dough” because it’s so sweet-smelling and soft.

This Homemade Play Dough Recipe is sooo soft, we call if ice cream dough. It smells good, and is only 2 ingredients. This is a quick, fun kid activity that is a cheap kid activity. Cornstarch and Conditioner are all you need to make homemade play dough. Great sensory activity for kids or toddlers #kidfun | Tried Tested and True Instant Pot Cooking by Lisa Childs

Ice Cream Play Dough Recipe

Tonight I’m making my famous Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Egg Noodles for dinner. What are you having?

One of my friends worked at a childcare center and she said they called this Ice Cream Dough! So now we do as well since it’s such a fun name for this super soft, pliable, concoction!

NOTE: This play dough is NOT safe to consume.

How to Make this Play Dough Recipe

There’s a ton of different play dough recipes out there! Some you have to cook, some require random ingredients, etc. I discovered this play dough “recipe” about 2 years ago and we LOVE it because it’s cheap and easy!

Cheap Conditioner and Cornstarch are all you need to make your own play dough recipe

Ingredients for Cheap Play Dough

All you need for this play dough recipe is cornstarch and cheap conditioner. Emphasis on the CHEAP part. Because cheap conditioner is a bit more watered down, the extra liquid helps create the right texture you’re looking for.

I’ve tried it with my (not even expensive but decent) conditioner and it wasn’t even close to the same. Just trust me on this one.

Measuring conditioner for ice cream play dough. This is the easiest recipe for homemade play dough ever!

Just “spring” for the cheap stuff, and you can thank me later 😉 I get mine at the grocery store for $.79! Don’t forget to pick a yummy scent, because that’s what the dough will smell like.

Best Conditioner for Play Dough Recipe

Our favorite is the Strawberries and Cream variety. Here’s a link to the exact one I used, though it’s not exactly cheap on Amazon. I recommend you find it at the dollar/grocery/drug store.

Mixing up homemade playdough in a bowl. This is a great toddler activity they can help with!

Mix up the cornstarch and conditioner in a bowl to get it pasty. Then, I dust my surface with a little extra cornstarch and knead it up. Kneading it helps get the texture right to ensure it’s not too sticky for the kids.

The play dough keeps for a long time in a tupperware with lid. Just make sure to add a bit more conditioner when you open it up!

This dough is perfect for babies and for kids. Just make sure they don't eat it! It smells soo good, they might be tempted!

Dry Play Dough

If your play dough gets a little dry and crumbly, just squirt some more conditioner into it. It’ll be just like new! My kids love using their cookie cutters and play knives to cut it up. I like rolling it and squeezing it… it’s like a stress ball!

These little hands love this fun and easy toddler activity! Great sensory activity and creative activity for kids!

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Ice cream play dough

Homemade Play Dough

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This pillowy soft play dough is a super easy and inexpensive toddler activity. The dough is only 2 ingredients! Kids enjoy playing with it for hours!


  • 1 Cup Cornstarch, Divided
  • 1/2 Cup Cheap Conditioner


  1. In a medium bowl, combine conditioner with 3/4 cup cornstarch. You will get a bit of a pasty consistency.
  2. Sprinkle half of the remaining 1/4 cup cornstarch onto a clean surface such as a cutting board, and dump the dough onto it. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of cornstarch on top, and lightly knead until no longer sticky and it feels pliable and soft. It should not stick to your fingers at all when ready. Add additional cornstarch or conditioner as needed.
  3. When the play dough gets dry and crumbly, return it all back to the bowl and add more conditioner into the cornstarch and mix until you get the desired consistency, about 1 tablespoon at a time. Store in a container with tight-fitting lid and add additional conditioner to regain consistency.
  4. DO NOT EAT. This is not safe to consume.


This recipe can be doubled, tripled, etc.!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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Tuesday 3rd of May 2022

I did not care for this playdough. It became crumbly and dry after only about 10 minutes of my daughter playing with it and ended up with a huge mess! Won't be making again!!

Lisa Childs

Monday 9th of May 2022

If it's dry, you should add a bit more conditioner! Also, it'll definitely be dryer if you don't use the super cheap conditioner that has lots of water in it. I find that my kids can play with it for at least an hour without it drying out so I hope you'll give it another chance!


Wednesday 1st of December 2021

Can you add food coloring???

Lisa Childs

Monday 7th of March 2022

Hmm.. I've never added food coloring, but I wouldn't advise it since it will probably dye your hands. instead, use a color of conditioner that you want. It won't be super dark, but it will be the right color. let me know if you try using food coloring!


Tuesday 4th of June 2019

This did not taste like ice cream AT ALL!

Lisa Childs

Monday 29th of July 2019

Definitely not an edible recipe! :)

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