cornstarch dough and watercolors

We had some friends over on Thursday and played with cornstarch clay; since Thursday I have made 3 more batches of this fun clay for the little ladies to create with. Anytime you bring cornstarch and water into play you know you’re going to have a good time!

cornstarch clay

for the clay you need:
2 cups cornstarch
1 cup salt
2 cups baking powder
2 cups water
**this amount was made for 7 children (and three mamas too)

for sculpting and color:

to make:
1. Add dry ingredients to the water and cook on medium to high heat, stirring constantly
2. The mixture will start getting clumpy, turn the down heat; when about 80% of the mixture is dough-like take off the heat and continue to stir until the leftover liquid joins the dough.
3. Let cool for a few minutes then start molding and sculpting.

araina's kitties

The little ladies used toothpicks to make the legs and join pieces and parts. Then covered the toothpicks with the clay. You can dry the clay creations in the oven at 225 degrees for a few hours or let them air dry for a few days.


My favorite part of this clay is how watercolors absorb and spread on it. The best time to paint is after the creations are dry, but if your little ones (or yourself) are impatient you can paint after sculpting; however, it wets the dough quite a bit.  

wc paint

water color

Being the science lover I am, I cannot post this dough recipe without a link to learning about polymers. Cornstarch is one of the most enjoyable ingredients to understanding polymers. If you have ever made Oobleck, you know what I am speaking of! Kendra and Kathleen, I foresee a mad scientist day on Thursday involving lots of cornstarch and water…………


  • March 9, 2011 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    Shoot! I was all set to mix this up, and then…2 cups of baking powder, holy smokes! It’s now top item on the must-do list AFTER our next shopping trip.

  • April 8, 2010 - 3:44 pm | Permalink

    i cant make it or fry it on the stove but molding it without that is pretty good!

  • Pingback: Wee Ones Wednesday: Make, Read, Buy - OGG Blog

  • Laura
    February 3, 2010 - 7:55 pm | Permalink

    We made this dough at the nature center and used it to make bird nests.Idea for nests came from family fun site that used model magic( We put tiny twigs in them to be more realistic looking, and will weave in grasses etc later) After painting them brown they looked really good. I think we will make some more to make eggs for the nests. Wonderful medium for our folks. thanks for the recipe.

  • January 28, 2010 - 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Fun! Did you make beads with them? Love the colors…perfect for a rainy day, going in my favorites file right now :)

  • January 27, 2010 - 10:52 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the great recipe! I can’t wait to try this out with my daughter. We added you to our link luv roundup today, come by for a peek!

  • January 27, 2010 - 10:15 am | Permalink

    I know I’ll be inspired with every visit to your blog! Thank-you Lisa :o)

  • January 26, 2010 - 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Lisa, This is fantastic. I’m going to try this with my boys this week. They will love it! Thanks for sharing.

  • Megan Steinwagner
    January 26, 2010 - 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for the recipe! My 5 year old daughter and I made planets, ducks and cats today. (not sure who had more fun!)…can’t wait to paint! Thanks again.

  • January 26, 2010 - 12:55 pm | Permalink

    I love what you were able to make with this clay! We’ll have to try too.

  • January 26, 2010 - 6:28 am | Permalink

    What fun, thank you for sharing the recipe!

  • January 26, 2010 - 12:35 am | Permalink

    We love mad scientist day and have it at least once a year! The last time around, we went all out and made oobleck, boogers, and gloop, then performed tests on all of them. Super fun stuff!

  • January 25, 2010 - 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Have I mentioned how much I love your site.

    Another great idea. The kids will love this.

  • January 25, 2010 - 5:03 pm | Permalink

    How lovely this recipe is. Its nice to see how happy the girls are playing with it. I will definitely try.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • January 25, 2010 - 1:36 pm | Permalink

    now this is new to me! COOL! thanks, lisa!

  • January 25, 2010 - 2:46 am | Permalink

    can’t wait to make some with (almost) 2year old; thanks for sharing!

  • January 25, 2010 - 1:58 am | Permalink

    Love it!! I totally made some with my kids and have been spreading the word. Thanks!!

  • January 25, 2010 - 1:04 am | Permalink

    These are so neat! I love the way that they absorb the paint! I think we will try this once my house is put back together and I can find everything again!
    thanks for sharing!
    peace & love,

  • January 24, 2010 - 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Love this recipe- so going to spend an afternoon with it over February vacation!

  • January 24, 2010 - 4:44 pm | Permalink

    We love ooobleck – and we love homemade playdough – so now we’ll have to try it with cornstarch…

  • January 24, 2010 - 1:45 pm | Permalink

    This stuff looks fabulous! I’m not sure whether we have cornstarch over here. We have cornflour but I’m not sure it’s the same thing. I’m bookmarking this so I can make it for my girls – if I manage to find the right ingredient! Many thanks for the idea as ever x

  • January 24, 2010 - 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I love how the dough is really white. Not off white or pie dough coloured. This is going in the vault for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  • Rachel
    January 24, 2010 - 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Oh how fun! I love playing with cornstarch! The paint is such a fun idea. Thanks so much for this post, I’ll be linking.

  • January 24, 2010 - 12:34 pm | Permalink

    It all looks so yummy! The colours turned out truly magic!

  • January 24, 2010 - 10:11 am | Permalink

    We’ve made some glop out of white glue and borax before. This looks fun…kinda like model magic.


  • Robin
    January 24, 2010 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    Love the Font!!! I also love this idea!!! You know Lisa P-W is going to love this too!

  • January 24, 2010 - 8:07 am | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing this recipe and the idea of using watercolor paint. This will be one of our craft activities this week.
    The watercolors look beautiful.
    Warm wishes,

  • January 24, 2010 - 5:56 am | Permalink

    Hi Lisa and Little Ladies! Yes, cornstarch is an enjoyable way to make little things with children. Your art works are beautiful! I too, have been trying it this week; but my recipe is : one part of glue and one of cornstarch , one spoon of vaseline oil and one spoon of lemon juice.
    Have a wonderful and crafty Sunday!

  • January 24, 2010 - 2:35 am | Permalink

    Oh what fun…we will try to make some of this! Thank you for the wonderful post, as always. I appreciate how much you inspire us!

  • January 24, 2010 - 2:19 am | Permalink

    I am going to be trying this, looks like fun!

  • January 24, 2010 - 1:45 am | Permalink

    What a fun idea, especially for cold or rainy days! Thank you very much for posting the recipe for the clay. We use Play-doh, but this looks more flexible, since it can be painted. It will be nice to have this in my little bag-of-tricks for bad weather days!

  • January 24, 2010 - 12:36 am | Permalink

    This looks like such fun, thanks for sharing:)

  • January 24, 2010 - 12:10 am | Permalink

    Princess and I had fun with this dough at Hanukkah time! We love Ooblek (didn’t know it was called that). We made that when we learned about non-Newtonian fluids. Fun!!!

  • January 23, 2010 - 11:13 pm | Permalink

    That looks so fun. We’ve done the corn starch “quick sand” before, but haven’t made dough out of the corn starch. I can’t wait to try it and see how the water colors react to it.

  • January 23, 2010 - 10:03 pm | Permalink

    This is wonderful! Thanks for including the recipe! I appreciate it! Can’t wait to use it!

  • January 23, 2010 - 8:14 pm | Permalink

    We love making this stuff. It’s a smoother texture and is a bit shinier than other doughs and clays. I LOVE the link! Thank you.

  • Kathleen
    January 23, 2010 - 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Remind me to tell you about the messy party I had for my little lady when she was about three…It involved a 25 pound bag of flour and 10 feet away a kiddie pool.

  • Comments are closed.