Silky and stretchy playdough

I’m very excited to share with you how to make silky and stretchy playdough. It’s wonderfully soft, much like touching a cloud, and can be super stretchy for added fun for the kids. You also only need to use 2 ingredients to make it so it’s really easy.  

Silky and Stretchy Play Dough for kids - 2 ingredients

Possum (aged 2.2 years) loves playdough and will often request it when the weather has us stuck indoors. I’ll usually use my classic play dough recipe, offer her a few bits and pieces like cutting tools etc, even knead in some delicious fragrance to add to her sensory experience. 

I have to admit though, this silky and stretchy playdough is nothing like what I’ve made her before. This is a thousand times better. It’s wonderfully soft to touch, stretchy and fragrant. I’m sure you’ll love it as much as we have. 

Recommended age: 3 years +
(Active supervision is required on this and all activities shared)

Silky soft play dough for kids

It really is very easy to make this recipe. I simply went to my local supermarket and got myself some cheap hair conditioner. This recipe calls for 1 cup of hair conditioner.  Next I simply needed to open the kitchen pantry and find cornflour/cornstarch. This is what gives it the dough consistency and by adding 2 cups of it to the conditioner after a good knead it becomes lovely and soft, silky and stretchy. 

Obviously conditioner, cornflour and cornstarch can vary between brands and from country to country. If you find your dough crumbly then add a teaspoon more conditioner and knead it through well. If it’s too damp and sticky, add a teaspoon more cornflour or cornstarch. You may need to tweak the recipe slightly to suit the ingredients you have. 

Simple 2 ingredient play dough for kids

Possum loved getting involved in the making of this incredible play dough. It was a great change for her to squeeze the contents of the conditioner out of the bottle with her little fingers and talk about measuring it to the specific line.

Easy to make play dough using only 2 ingredients

Adding the cornflour into a bowl with the conditioner gave her the opportunity to use those larger arm muscles and mix the 2 ingredients together.

Soft and silky play dough for kids using 2 ingredients

After about 1 minute of kneading, the two ingredients come together to make the most incredible silky and stretchy playdough you can imagine. Of course you could divide the play dough and add a few drops of food colouring, however, I loved the silkiness of the stark white.

Silky soft play dough for kids using 2 ingredients

This play dough was perfect for little fingers. Possum loved poking deep soft holes into it and folding it over itself. Some common recipes can make quite stiff play dough, however, this is lovely and soft, leaving a gorgeous fragrance from the conditioner.

Stretchy play dough for kids

This 2 ingredient play dough is so easy to stretch, perfect for those children who simple enjoy exploring the texture of this play dough, rather than making figures etc.

Silky Smooth play dough - 2 ingredients

This play dough does hold some shape, but because of it’s soft nature it is best manipulated to create 2D shapes and figures.  Gorgeous!

Storing play dough
This lovely play dough can be kept for a number of weeks, depending on how well it is stored. I recommend, like with any play dough, wrap it very tightly with a few layers of cling wrap and store it in an air-tight container out of direct light. Obviously the more exposure it has to air the quicker it dries out. 

Silky Soft play dough with glitter - easy to make

For something a little more interesting you might like to add coloured glitter to your child’s play dough experience. Possum loved squashing in the glitter and folding it through itself. 

But like I said, this is a really lovely form of playdough that you can easily make at home. The texture you really need to experience for yourself. It’s wonderful and it will have your child playing for hours and asking for it again and again. 

What sort of playdough does your child like? 

Warning : Please be careful which conditioners and shaving creams you choose to make these 2 products with as each may contain ingredients that can cause skin irritations. 
Follow Kate @ LaughingKidsLearn’s board Laughing Kids Learn on Pinterest.

More play dough fun on the blog

Sensory writing bag for preschoolers. Fine motor activity.   Make flubber recipe for kids the easy way.   Fairy Playdough using three ingredients

Ebooks available featuring Laughing Kids Learn

Zero to Two: Book of Play    Three to Five Playful Preschool ad SuperSensory Square



  1. nabila says

    Hi..luv it! Just wanna ask.can we play with the dough again and again (play many times)?does it stay soft n stretchy?

    • Kate says

      It’s wonderful Nabila, really it is! Air exposure, like any play dough, does dry it out a little but you can just work in a little more conditioner to keep it soft! Be sure to keep it wrapped tightly using cling wrap. Have FUN! :)

    • Kate says

      Thanks for your question Lauren! Like any play dough I wrap this really tightly using a cling wrap. Even better if you can then store it in an air tight container. Have a great time playing!

  2. Naomi says

    Kate, shampoo does not work. I used it accidentally and it was a sticky mess. Kids took it outside and painted each other with it, so lots of fun was had anyway. :-)

    • Kate says

      Thanks for the heads up Naomi. :)
      Glad the kids found it fun anyway. No doubt they were nice and clean by the end of it. LOL

      • Natasha says

        If you add enough cornstarch, shampoo does work. I just made some using baby shampoo/body wash to test it out. It’s not bad dough that way, but I can’t wait to get conditioner for this recipe. The other is a little sticky.

        • Kate says

          Thanks for testing it out and sharing your findings Natasha. I’ve always been curious to know if shampoo would work. Let me know how you find it compares with the conditioner. :)

          • Kate says

            Corn flour is the term used in Australia where I am located. I believe Americans say cornstarch.

    • Kate says

      Have a look at the photograph in this post and see what the conditioner is like. It’s quite thick, it can basically stand up on itself. I don’t know about using liquid conditioner. You could give it a go but I would imagine it wouldn’t work out as well. See if you can find some cheap conditioner at the supermarket.

  3. Rivki says

    I’ve made this recipe twice and although it is so soft and silky and smells awesome, it did not last. It got very crumbly and I had to throw it out. Any suggestions?

    • Kate says

      Unfortunately much like your typical play dough, exposure to air will begin to dry out the dough and cause it to crumble. You could try and add a tablespoon more of conditioner and see if that helps bring it back to the consistency you like. When storing it be sure it’s wrapped really tightly and without any air pockets. Thanks Rivki.

    • says

      That was our experience too. I tried it after seeing it on another site last year and I was disappointed. We make all kinds of homemade doughs but none have ever gotten so dry and crumbly so fast (even while my kids were playing with it) and then it quickly made a mess.

      We bought cheap conditioner (why waste the good stuff on a temporary craft recipe?) and the smell was overpowering, too. It wasn’t strong in the bottle but as a dough it was quite artificial and headache-inducing even though I thought it had a nice scent in the bottle. Between the smell and how fast it turned crumbly while the kids were playing, I decided to stick to the regular homemade dough. :)

      • Kate says

        Thanks for your comment Magic and Mayhem. I’m sorry to hear that you had no great luck with this activity. Best wishes with all that you get up to with your kids in the future. :)

  4. CiCi says

    I made this a few weeks ago with conditioner and corn starch from a different site, but it wasn’t stretchy. Do you think it would it be stretchy if I used corn flour instead of corn starch? Is there a difference between corn floor and corn starch? Thanks for your input. :-)

    • Kate says

      I really didn’t think there was a different CiCi. I know here in Australia it is called Cornflour but I think Americans call it Corn Starch. I think you’ll find my measurements may be slightly different to what you’ve tried in the past and hopefully that makes it stretchy for you. Best wishes.

      • brenda says

        I did corn starch and conditioner. it wasn’t stretchy and it was super sticky. I’m at a loss of why it turned out this way. Any thoughts

        • Kate says

          Hi Brenda. I’m so sorry this hasn’t worked out for you. Sometimes the type of conditioner you use can make the difference. If it’s too sticky then add a little more corn starch and kneed it really well. It can take some kneading. Let me know how you go. :)

    • jo says

      I used corn flour and there is zero stretch. In fact it was so sticky I decided to add some oil to stop the stick. It did the job but there is still zero stretch. And by the way I added the oil only as a final try after trying to add more conditioner and/or corn flour. No matter what I did there was zero stretch.

      • Kate says

        Sorry to hear that Jo! If you had the patients to try it again I’d add a teaspoon or two of more corn flour. The corn flour will stop the stick and increase the stretch. Good luck.

  5. Shelley says

    I found this to be the perfect texture for stuffing into balloons. My boys (3 and 4) grip them over and over to release frustration, but they are great at building hand strength, too!

  6. says

    Hi there! Just came across this on Pinterest! I love love LOVE this idea! I hope to try this out tomorrow with my little ones. Just a little nervous with my youngest (1.5) she likes to taste things… I am going to bookmark your page, great posts!

    • Kate says

      Hi Melissa. This was such a fun play dough for my little girl to play with. Yes, you do need to be careful with little ones who like to taste things as this is not an edible recipe. I would jut suggest to be nice and close to her during play so you can remind (and stop) her if she’s thinking to give it a taste. Have a great time playing!!!!

  7. Mary says

    Hey, thank you for this great but simple idea! Marlena is 13m now and I think I’ll give it a try. But can I use potato-starch instead??

    • Kate says

      Hi Mary! I’m sure your lovely 13 month old would have a great time with this. I haven’t tried potato starch but it might be worth giving it a try. Let me know how you go. :)

    • Kate says

      Oh Leigh, I’m so pleased to hear that this is such a great recipe for you. I appreciate your comment letting me know. Best wishes with your gorgeous preschoolers. x

  8. Vanessa says

    Great, thanks so much for the awesome idea. We tried it out today, but it was very sticky. Do you think i just didnt stir for long enough? I added more cornflour, but then it was a bit too firm, and not as silky as i was hoping… :( My daughter still enjoyed it though :)

    • Kate says

      I can only assume it needed to be mixed and kneaded more Vanessa. The cornflour does stiffen the dough so that’s probably what happened. What country are you from? I’m in Australia and it may also be that the cornflour behaves slightly differently. Hopefully your daughter still had fun. :)

  9. Emma says

    My daughter and I made this today and loved it! Thanks so much for the fab idea.
    Ours turned out VERY sticky so we had to add alot more corn flour than it said it the recipe. We got their eventually! :0)

    • Kate says

      Thanks Emma. I’m really glad it turned out in the end. Obviously some corn flours and conditioners behave slightly differently all over the world but I’m glad you were able to correct it. Have fun with this! :)

  10. Ann says

    It works!!!! I am so happy šŸ˜€ I tried similar recipes multiple times but never succeeded. They were all a combination of corn starch, shampoo/conditioner and water. I always asumed the water was causing it to behave too much like oobleck and being the reason for not giving stretch to it, but never tried it without water. Just before starting with your recipe I realised it didnt have water to it. And this recipe WORKS! Kids are in bed but this stretchy play dough has been played yet (by me). Thanks so much.

    • Kate says

      How wonderful Ann! I’m so pleased that is worked out as well as you had hoped. Yes, water would cause it to be very runny and not much like the lovely play dough this becomes without it. I hope you and your kids have lots of great fun with this and thank you for your message. :)

    • Kate says

      You absolutely could add food colouring. It’s a gorgeous recipe that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. Can’t wait to check out your blog too! :)

    • Kate says

      Hi Richeal,
      My apologies, it may be because you are using a different brand of cornflour to me. I hope you were able to add a touch more conditioner to get it balanced and at the right consistency.

  11. Dawanda says

    I made this with my preschool class this week and they LOVED it! We have been playing with it for four days now, and none of them have lost interest in being at this center. We used Strawberry scented conditioner and then added a packet of strawberry Kool-Aid to the mixture to give it extra color and an awesome scent. It started out extremely sticky, but the more it was kneaded together, the better the dough became. After the first day it became quite crumbly, but the more we played with it, the dough went back to its stretchy consistency. My preschoolers named it “bubblegum play dough” because it is stretchy like bubblegum (and looks and smells like it as well). I loved seeing how fascinated they were just watching it stretch from their raised hands down to the table. This recipe is going onto my list of activities to repeat. Thanks for the idea!

  12. Karen says

    I too had a problem with the consistency being super crumbly and clumpy. Then while my son played with it I worked a small piece in my hand and it came out great. The warmth of my hand pulled it all together. It is winter and admittedly my house is a bit on the cool side. I warmed up the dough a little and it came together perfectly. Once it cooled when we left it alone it was super crumbly again.

    • Kate says

      Thank you for your comment Karen. I’m glad to hear that you were able to work out what the problem is. Here in Australia we are experiencing much warmer summer temperatures than you might possibly be. Thank you for being so kind and sharing your success story with me. I hope you had great fun. :)

    • Kate says

      Not to my understanding. In Australia, where I am, we call it cornflour. In America I believe it’s cornstarch. Go ahead and use whatever one you have. It should turn out the same. Have fun!! :)

  13. says

    Cant wait to try this one out seem so much fun. Do u think the recipe would work if i added food colouring to different parts to make it even more fun??

  14. Anonymus says

    I am just in love with this recipe!
    I have made this with my little 3 year old and so far she has been having lots of fun!
    We will need lots more soon I’m sure.
    Thank you kindly for this amazing recipe!

  15. Penny says

    Just made this with my 8 year old and 2 year old and they now declare that mom rocks!!! It was a GREAT success, thanks so much for being so innovative and inventive. And thanks most of all for sharing!

    • Kate says

      That is absolutely FANTASTIC Penny! Thank you so very much for taking the time to send me a comment and you are no doubt a mum that rocks! Glad this suited both your children too. :)

  16. says

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I let 15 kids make their own play dough at the kids’ club yesterday (in Norway), and they had lots of fun :-)

    • Kate says

      How wonderful Kristin! Thank you for popping back and letting me know. I’m sure they had great fun. :)

  17. says

    I just made this for my 2 older daughters..who are 5 and 3 they had to much fun…but it was a pain to clean up this is definitely an outdoor kinda activity…

    • Kate says

      Hi CrazyEyes! I’m so pleased your daughters enjoyed this activity. We made and played with this inside and without too much trouble, but all kids are different. I’m sure the fun factor makes any mess seem worth it. :) Thanks for your comment CrazyEyes.

  18. Ananya says

    I just made it but may be i have done something wrong its not strechy not keeping its shape :( shall i mix for conditioner or more cornflour?

    iam new to your site & LOVING it.. Thank you

    • Kate says

      Hi Ananya! Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately every conditioner and cornflour acts slightly differently so it might be a case that you mix a teaspoon or two in the mixture OR sprinkle a little more cornflour. Be sure to knead it really well. I think that is often the secret!

    • Kate says

      Sorry to hear this didn’t work for you Nicole. Many others have had great success but I’m sad to hear your experience hasn’t been so great. Extra cornstarch would have solved your problem so it was unfortunate you didn’t have any extra on hand.

  19. Mallory says

    We made this play dough this morning and it was wonderful! The conditioner I bought wasn’t as thick as in the pictures, but it worked just fine. I did add much more cornstarch though. It was closer to three cups. I found that adding the cornstarch a little at a time and mixing it in thoroughly after each addition helped us find the right texture.

    My two-year-old and I both loved to play with it. It was soft and smooth and stretchy and just lovely to play with. although playing on the floor might not have been such a smart idea since my son kept putting his toes in it…

    • Kate says

      Absolutely thrilled to read about your experience Mallory! Thank you so kindly for taking the time to come back and comment. It seems that the recipe requires more if cornstarch is used. I assume you’re American? Here in Australia we use cornflour, which I’m sure is much the same, but you requires less. Thanks so much for the information. :)

      • Mallory says

        I’m Canadian, but I imagine that our cornstarch is closer to an American product than an Australian one! Whether or not there are any differences, it worked for us!

  20. says

    I think this was an amazing play medium! It was ooblek-like without the super mess. I tried the 2 parts powder to 1 part conditioner and ended up with a chowder like consistency. I just kept adding powder and mixing (with my hands) until it didn’t stick to my fingers any more. I love the texture! My 8 year old twins and my 2 year old are pulling and stretching it right now. I think the ratio ends up being closer to 4 parts powder to 1 part liquid. I think I may try this with cheap baby lotion, next. Any thoughts?

    • Kate says

      Thank you so kindly for popping back and commenting Rachel. I love to hear from my followers. It’s a bit tricky because different conditioners and corn flour/cornstarch can react differently but I’m thrilled that you were able to make it work. GO YOU!!! That’s so wonderful and I wish you and your kids many more days of playing. I’d be curious to know how the baby lotion works as I haven’t tried it. Who knows, it could be the newest and greatest type of playdough. Let me know how you go. :)

  21. sarah says

    i just made this..we love it:) my lil ones playing with it as i type…i also added a bit of baby oil to it and it has become silkiler …:)

  22. Christine says

    Can this be used to make hand prints or paw prints? How well does a mold hold up after it is dry? Does anyone have experience using it like that? Thank you for your responses. :)

    • Kate says

      Hi Christine!
      Hmmmm….. I’m not too sure I’d recommend using it as you have described. It isn’t really something that will last very long (unfortunately) but I’m always keen to hear peoples experiences, so give it a go! :)

  23. Amy says

    Just made this for my 4 year old daughter, and she is loving it! I doubled the recipe in case her older brother (10 and diagnosed with PDD & Cognitive Disability) decides to join in. It was perfect because I had just found some outdated Cornstarch in the pantry. But I do have to say, 2 cups of conditioner is alot! And all we had was some cheap, heavily scented stuff! Whew! Our house smells very perfumey!!

    • Kate says

      Hi Amy! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I love hearing from my readers.:)
      It’s good to know that even outdated cornstarch works well for this play dough. What a fantastic way to use it up and get the kids playing. Did you colour it or leave it white?

  24. Hema says

    I am from India.. we generally make Roti / Chapati for dinner, which is made of wheat flour or sometimes with all purpose flour mixed with water.. My 1.5 yr old son takes a bit and starts making different shapes out of it.. That was his play dough till date.. and this is edible too..

    But it isn’t re-usable and gets dried out in a short span… I loved your recipe.. will surely try it out.. fingers crossed that it should turn out well so i can re-use it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kate says

      Hi Hema!
      Lovely to have your comment and hear your thoughts. I absolutely LOVE Roti! :)
      Unfortunately you will find that this playdough does dry out as it becomes more and more exposed to air, just like any playdough does. I mine was an edible playdough but it is not at all edible. If you are wanting an edible kind stick to your lovely Roti.

  25. Krystal says

    Hi, just found your blog today through pinterest… I LOVE it!! I’ve repinned a bunch of your posts and am already in the middle of making the tugging box. Just wanted to tell you how much I love your blog, and I’ll be repinning your pins for about the next 12 hours lol!! :)

    • Kate says

      Oh Krystal you are gorgeous! Thank you so kindly and I hope you continue to pop back. Feel free to subscribe too because then you won’t miss a post! :)

  26. Rebekah kaminski says

    Sorry. Can you explain what you did to make it super stretchy that is different to paging fun mums? I have made that dough and it is not stretchy at all. I dont see ant difference. Thanks

    • Kate says

      Hi Rebekah! Thanks for your comment. I can’t actually be sure what made our dough so stretchy, possibly because I didn’t add the food colouring, which is different from the post shared by PFM post.

  27. Jade says

    Hi ive just tried this and it was soo much fun with my little one shes 14months and she loved it, i used baby lotion tho and a little more cornflour and that worked ok too, a little sticky at first but worked ok. =)

    Do you know if you can make it set like the hand and foot clay type things ? Its just we did our hands and i would like to save them =)

    Thanks in advance xx

    • Kate says

      Hi Jade! Thank you so much for sharing your feedback. It’s interesting to hear that you found baby lotion to work, how awesome!!! I’ll have to be sure and give that a try.

      I have the perfect ‘clay’ type recipe that I think you’ll love. This post is very old but the recipe is still the same and the hand imprint is something that we still treasure today. Let me know how you go lovely! Click here —->

  28. Laura J Skadsen says

    I love that you created a wonderful play medium for children. My son is 23 but I can still pass this along to the district’s Pre-Kinder4 teachers. You are wonderful. Possum is really getting into the fun!

    • Kate says

      Thank you so kindly Laura. I’m sure even 23 year olds would find this irresistible. Hahahaha
      Much appreciate your lovely comment. :)

  29. neha says

    Amazing dough. My recipe for making dough was one bread and 1 tbsp of German glue but I bet that your one is way better. Thanks for the recipe, by the way you have a very cute daughter.

    • Kate says

      Thank you so kindly Neha! I wish you all the best with this fabulous recipe and I appreciate your kind comments about my little Possum.

  30. Jonco says

    “Does your children love play dough?”

    How about “Do your children love play dough?”

    or “Does your child love play dough?”

  31. Carolyn says

    Just made this with Suave hypoallergenic hair conditioner and corn starch. Love it! I’m going to make some with a few students in speech therapy tomorrow. I added clear glitter. I live in Colorado.

  32. Accsh says


    I just wondered if you have ever found something that was edible that gave playdough this consistency, thanks.

    • Kate says

      Hi Nel! Thanks for your lovely comment and question. You can wrap it tightly in cling wrap and then place it in an air-tight container. In my experience it doesn’t store as well as playdough but this method will help to preserve it so you can play for another day or so. :)

  33. Christina says

    Sooo fun just did this with my 3yo she loved it! Consistency was better the longer she played with it. Kneading for sure helps. Thanks for great idea!

    • Kate says

      Yay Christina! Thank you so very much for your gorgeous feedback. I’m thrilled your 3 year old enjoyed playing with it. :)

  34. Katie says

    :-( Did not work for us. I added at least 50% more cornstarch and it was still too sticky. The only conditioner I had on hand was “anti-breakage” so maybe that was the problem.

    • Kate says

      Quite possibly. Sorry that the recipe didn’t work out how I described it but hopefully you still had fun making it.

  35. Teresa says

    I’ve always used the recipe where you gotta cook it on the stove, but this is so much easier, so much quicker, a lot less fuss and safe for kids to do too. Thanx.

  36. Caroline says

    Just did this earlier today for my daughter :) Great way to bond, my husband has been making cars and whatnot out of it. Best part is it keeps my daughter’s attention away from the gadgets and online stuff. :) Thanks for sharing this recipe!


Please Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *