Easy DIY Dinosaur-Themed Play Dough That Kids Will Love

As a kid, there is nothing more fun than digging into some squishy play dough and shaping it into animals or pretending to bake cookies and pies just like mom.

But what really takes the fun up to another level is by adding in some fun props…or in this case, some Dinosaurs!

homemade play dough with dinosaur toys

This homemade dinosaur-themed play dough is not only an economical way to keep your kiddos entertained all afternoon, but it also helps them get their imaginations firing when they make up stories of how their dinosaurs play in their prehistoric world!

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How to Make Homemade Play Dough

Although it may look a little intimidating, making your own play dough couldn’t be any easier. In fact, I bet you already have most or all of the ingredients in your kitchen!

Essentially, you mix up a quick dough in a saucepan and then cook it for a few minutes until it becomes dry. You can add food coloring to match your kids’ favorite colors, and even scented oil or other fun add-ins like glitter.

For the dinosaur play dough, however, we want it to look like earth and water, since that’s where the dinosaurs played when they were around 😉

Ingredients for homemade play dough

To make your homemade dough, you’ll need flour, salt, cream of tartar, water, and vegetable oil.

ingredients needed to make homemade dinosaur play dough

To make dinosaur-themed dough, I colored the finished dough with AmeriColor gel food coloring.

For the earth-colored dough, I used AmeriColor food coloring in slate gray; for the rocks and volcano-colored dough, I used AmeriColor food coloring in chocolate brown; for the water-colored dough, I used AmeriColor food coloring in turquoise.

dry ingredients for diy play dough in a mixing bowl

To begin, combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well to combine.

cooking oil pouring into pot

Pour the water and oil into a saucepan and stir well.

dry ingredients for play dough pouring into cooking pot

Pour the dry ingredients into the oil mixture in the sauce pan.

whisk stirring ingredients together for play dough

Stir well with a wire whisk until there are no lumps remaining.

cooked ball of play dough in pot

Place the pan on the stove over medium heat and stir constantly until a big ball of dough forms. This step only takes a few minutes.

Take the pan off the heat and let the dough cool for about 5 minutes or so.

gel food coloring added to top of ball of homemade play dough

Divide the dough into 3 even pieces, and then add a few drops of color to each piece.

If your kids are helping you with this part, you may want to add the dough and food coloring to individual zipper bags in order to make this part a little less messy 😉

food color mixed into homemade play dough

Knead the color into the dough until it is evenly distributed…then you’re ready to play!

When you’re all done with the dough for the day, just make sure to store it in an airtight container so that it doesn’t dry out. A zipper bag is great, but you can even use an old jelly jar too.

colorful homemade play dough with toy dinosaurs

These fun toy dinosaurs and trees came from my local craft store, but you can also pick up a set of dinosaurs very inexpensively at Amazon.

Easy DIY Dinosaur Playdough

Author Erin Myers


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Your favorite prehistoric food colors I used AmeriColor chocolate brown, slate and turquoise
  • Plastic toy dinosaurs
  • Plastic toy tree
  • Mini craft rocks


  1. Add the flour, salt and cream of tartar to a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  2. Pour the water and vegetable oil into a large sauce pan and stir well. Add the flour mixture and whisk until there are no lumps remaining.
  3. Place the pan on the stove and stir continuously over medium heat until a thick ball of dough is formed. Remove from heat.
  4. Allow the dough to cool for 5 minutes and divide into 3 even pieces. Add a few drops of food coloring to each piece.
  5. Knead each piece of dough to soften and distribute the color. You may find it easier for your kids to use a sealed plastic bag when kneading to eliminate any mess from the coloring.
  6. Now you have brown, grey and turquoise colored playdough for hours of dinosaur fun! Grey playdough can be used for the land, brown playdough can be used for rocks and volcanoes and the turquoise playdough can be used for water!
  7. Use the feet of the dinosaurs to make footprints in the mud!
  8. **Store in an airtight plastic Ziploc bag for up to 1 month.

toy dinosaurs in a prehistoric scene made with homemade play dough

This fun dinosaur-themed play dough will bring your kids hours of creative fun! It’s also makes a fun birthday party activity for toddlers and can even be sent home as a party favor.

Hope your kids enjoy their dinosaur creations!

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