Super simple salt dough recipe

Just mix three ingredients

Super simple salt dough recipe
by Natalie Keeler

A squishy dough that's cheap, safe and creates lasting designs? We promise there's no catch. Just raid your store cupboard for flour and salt and you can mix up a batch in minutes.  

This is the best DIY salt dough recipe we've tried, and it's perfect for little hands, too. The natural ingredients mean there are no hidden nasties, while the high salt content discourages inquisitive toddlers from taking more than one bite.

When you've made your mix, try creating a fantastic salt dough handprint ornament.

Scroll down to find out which method for drying the dough is best for you with our oven, microwave and air-dry techniques. 

You'll need

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup table salt 
  • 1 cup water

Salt dough recipe

1. Help your kids to put 2 cups of plain flour and 1 cup of table salt in a bowl and stir.

2. Now, they add 1 cup of water and use their hands to bring the mixture into a dough. (It should be quite dry).

Salt dough drying tips


The quickest method to dry dough is in the microwave, but the dough will probably rise a bit. If you want a speedy technique and your kids aren’t fussy, it takes about 1 minute – check it every 10 seconds.


Alternatively, put the moulds into a cool oven. Line a baking tray with baking parchment or foil. Preheat the oven to 110C / 90C fan / ¼ gas. Cook it in the oven for about 45 mins to an hour until hard.

Air dry

Leave the moulds in a cool dry place for between 24-48 hours (thinner designs will dry quicker). This will split the activity into two – so today’s all about making moulds and tomorrow (or next week) is about painting them.

This method is best for handprints as you might lose the shape of the hand in the microwave.

Find more top tips for crafting with salt dough on BBC Good Food.

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Sensory Play

Learning guide

Letting your little one get involved with measuring ingredients helps them to practise maths skills. And mixing everything together to create a new substance means they can see the science in action! Plus, it’s great fun. They’ll love the squashy feeling of the dough and can get really creative with the different shapes they can make it into.