A white bowl is filled with mauve dough. Two hands knead the dough making it squeeze outward toward the viewer.

Salt dough is easy to make with kids as young as 18 months. It requires only a few ingredients, all of which are edible, and no cooking.

Time: 5–10 minutes + playtime


This project is perfect for small hands. Let your child measure, mix, and explore the possibilities alongside you! Bonus: Mixing the dough is great for developing hand strength necessary for fine motor skills!

  1. Gather your materials: You’ll need a large container (we recommend a sturdy unbreakable container for any project with kids!),  a mixing tool (like a spatula or spoon), 1½ cups of flour, ½ cup of salt, and ½ cup of water. If you’d like to add color to your salt dough, you’ll also need one of the following: food coloring, liquid watercolor, or mashed berries.
    A large, empty white bowl sits to the left of a metal spoon and four glasses filled with salt, flour, water, and dark red berries.
  2. Mix your dry ingredients. Mix the flour and salt together first.
    Salt and flour fill a large white bowl. A hand holds a spoon which prepares to stir the mixture.
  3. Add water slowly. If you’re also using an optional liquid color, use less water or your mixture will be too sticky. We used mashed up blackberries to add color to our salt-dough.
    A hand pours water from a glass into a bowl containing mixed flour and salt.
  4. Knead the dough! Get those small hands in there to knead, fold, and gently punch the dough until the mixture is smooth. Note: Some kids may love the sticky texture; others prefer to use a mixing tool and keep their hands clean. Adult help may be needed to finish the dough.

  5. Explore the possibilities. What can you make? Try some of the following: