Best Recipes for Messy Play – Playdough, Goop, Cloud Dough & More

Here are my best, most easiest recipes for those messy play ideas – No Cook Playdough, Goop, Cloud Dough, Slime and Homemade Finger Paint.

Introduction – Messy Play Recipes

Children need Messy Play! There are numerous developmental benefits for children when they participate in Messy Play. You can read my article on Messy Play – with benefits and Messy Play Ideas HERE. Messy Play might be best outdoors, as water play often is, depending on where you live and your environment.

Messy Play helps to develop:

Creative expression and imaginative play

Fine motor skills and Hand-Eye coordination

Sensory Awareness and Tactile Exploration

Colour concepts and exploration of cause and effect

Problem Solving abilities

Language skills

Here are my best recipes, that are also SUPER easy – tried and tested many times over in Childcare Centres, and at home with my son, Andy. Have fun and let me know which one is your favourite!

No Cook Playdough

That’s right – no cooking, no cream of tartare. It’s quick, it’s easy, it has a beautiful texture.


4 cups plain flour

1 cup salt

4 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

2 cups warm water (few drops of food colouring added)


Stir together flour and salt.

Add oil and stir.

Add food colouring to water. Gradually add water to flour mixture. Stir and knead until dough is smooth and mouldable, but not sticky.

NOTE: If you add too much water to begin with, no amount of adding flour can bring it back to a good consistency. It’s much better to keep the mixture too dry and gradually add the water until the consistency is right.

Best Recipes for Messy Play

Cloud Dough

2 Ingredients! Oh and it smells amazing!


Cornflour – 4C

Hair conditioner – 2C


Mix both ingredients together, stir and knead.

Best Recipes for Messy Play
Best Recipes for Messy Play


Slimy, fun to make and fun for play!


1 bottle Elmer’s School Glue

Half cup water

Half teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate soda)

Few drops food colouring

1 Tablespoon Contact lenses Saline solution

kids first aid


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Pour glue into a bowl

Add half the water and stir

Add food colouring

Add baking soda and stir

Add saline solution and stir quickly

Once slime starts to come away from the sides of the bowl, knead it for just a few minutes. It should be sticky at first.


Store the slime in an airtight container.

Best Recipes for Messy Play


Again, 2 ingredients! So easy!


1 box cornflour

1 cup water (few drops of food colouring added)



Best Recipes for Messy Play

Home Made Finger Paint

Easy and safe to eat.


8 Tablespoons Cornflour

1 cup boiling water, plus a little cold water

Few drops of food colouring


Add a little cold water to the cornflour so it forms a paste.

Gradually add boiling water and stir.

Place on medium heat on the stove and continue to stir until it starts to thicken.

Turn heat off, and continue stirring until it thickens a bit more.

Spoon mixture into empty jars and add different coloured food colouring to each container or jar.

Best Recipes for Messy Play


Have you tried any homemade messy play recipes before? I would love to hear about them, or whether you have any suggestions on how these recipes could be improved? Let me know in the comments!

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