Can you bake play dough in the microwave?? You bet!! This easy microwave play dough recipe makes perfect smooth & stretchy sensory dough every single time! We absolutely love this homemade playdoh — it’s our new favorite!
Easy Microwave Play Dough
Play dough is one of our favorite sensory activities, and there are so many ways to make it!
Our slow cooker play dough recipe turned out amazing — and it’s foolproof because you just set it and forget it! In one hour you have the softest, smoothest play dough we’ve ever tried!
But what if you don’t have a slow cooker? Or you just want to make a small batch of play dough quickly?
We decided to tweak our original slow cooker play dough recipe slightly and cook it in the microwave instead!
Would it work?
Would it be just as soft?
Here’s what happened…
Can You Make Play Dough in the Microwave?
We tried it…
And I’m so excited to report that…YES!! You can make play dough in the microwave!
Super soft, exquisitely stretchy play dough that’s ready in two minutes and lasts for weeks and weeks!
This recipe is a definite winner!!
For your convenience in creating this easy play dough recipe, we’ve included shop-able ad links to some of the products used; disclosure policy available here.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup salt
- 2 Tablespoons cream of tartar
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoons cornstarch
- Food coloring of your choice – we use gel food coloring because it creates such rich, vibrant colors!
- Microwave safe bowls
What Does Cream of Tartar Do in Play Dough?
Cream of tartar is a common ingredient in homemade play dough. But what does it do?
There are two main benefits to using cream of tartar in your play dough:
- It acts as a preservative, helping your homemade play dough last longer. Our homemade play dough (both the slow cooker play dough and this microwave play dough recipe) last for weeks when stored properly!
- Provides elasticity, so your play dough is super stretchy and fun to play with!
Using cream of tartar in play dough helps it to last longer, as the cream of tartar acts as a preservative. It also provides elasticity to the dough, so it is stretchier.
What Can I Use Instead of Cream of Tartar in Play Dough?
If you don’t have cream of tartar readily available, here are a couple substitutes:
- 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, strained to remove any pulp
How to Make Play Dough in the Microwave
Whisk together play dough ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then divide into separate microwave safe bowls for each color of play dough you’ll be making.
Safety note: Always use microwave safe bowls for this recipe and handle with care, as the bowls may become hot. A grown-up should handle this step. Never use plastic bowls as they can melt.
Stir 2-3 drops of food coloring into each bowl, adding more until you achieve the desired shade.
Microwave one bowl at a time. Start by microwaving for 1 minute and stir. Microwave an additional 30 seconds and stir again.
If needed, continue microwaving in 15-20 second intervals until dough begins to form and pull away from sides of the container (or is no longer soupy).
Allow to cool enough to handle and finish mixing by hand.
How to Store Your Dough
This microwave play dough will last for weeks – even months – if you make sure to store it carefully.
Wash hands before playing, to keep dough cleaner longer. When done playing, keep in a ziplock bag or airtight container.
If it starts to dry out, just work a little water into your dough to rehydrate.
- Always supervise children when making or playing with play dough.
- Adults should handle the microwaving – always use a microwave safe bowl and handle with care.
- This dough is taste safe, meaning it isn’t harmful if tasted. However it doesn’t taste good and isn’t meant to be eaten.
- If you notice any signs of mold on your play dough, discard and make a new batch.
ALL of our Favorite Play Dough Recipes in One Place!
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In our homemade play dough recipe book, you’ll find everything from seasonal play dough, to edible play dough made with taste-safe ingredients.
There are 10 unique play dough recipes that you can make with simple ingredients you probably already have at home!
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Microwave Play Dough Recipe (Printable Copy)
Microwave Play Dough
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup salt
- 2 TB cream of tartar
- 2 TB oil
- 1 TB corn starch
- food coloring
- Whisk together play dough ingredients and divide into separate microwave safe bowls for each color you're making.
- Stir in food coloring, one color per bowl.
- Microwave for 1 minute, stir; microwave for 30 more seconds, stir. If needed, continue microwaving in 15-20 second intervals until dough begins to form and pull away from sides of the container (or is no longer soupy).
- Allow to dough to cool enough to handle and finish mixing by hand.
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