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Bubble Dough

Sweet Pea is 6 years old.

Dish Soap + Corn Starch = Super Fun Bubble Dough


From: I saw this very cool and super easy Bubble Dough recipe from Creative Playhouse and couldn’t wait to try it!


  • Mixing bowl.
  • 1 cup Cornstarch.
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Liquid dish or hand soap.  (We used Dawn.)
  • Dry cloth and a damp sponge for clean up.

 Dish Soap + Corn Starch = Super Fun Bubble Dough



  • Put 1 cup cornstarch into the mixing bowl.

 Dish Soap + Corn Starch = Super Fun Bubble Dough

  • Add 1/4 cup liquid dish soap.

 Dish Soap + Corn Starch = Super Fun Bubble Dough


  • Let your tot mush the cornstarch and soap together until they are combined into a smooth dough like texture.  (It starts very messy, but gets better!) 

 Dish Soap + Corn Starch = Super Fun Bubble Dough

  • If your dough is still crumbly, add more liquid dish soap about 1 TBS at a time until it comes together.  If it is still sticky, sprinkle in some extra corn starch.
  • Let your tot play!
  • Make sure your tot washes their hands afterwards since they will have a soap film on them.
  • To clean up – Try to roll the dough back together to collect every stray piece of dough and then wipe the table down with a dry cloth first!  
  • Hand your tot a damp sponge and let them scrub the table clean.  It’s a fun activity and a chore combined.  Win! Win!

 Dish Soap + Corn Starch = Super Fun Bubble Dough


Observations:  This dough was amazing.  It was a huge winner.

 Dish Soap + Corn Starch = Super Fun Bubble Dough


Sweet Pea loved it!  She loved squishing the dough.  Shaping it.  Rolling it.  Everything!

 Dish Soap + Corn Starch = Super Fun Bubble Dough


I even loved playing with it.  It is somewhat similar to ooblek (cornstarch and water), but with a much sturdier texture.  You can make shapes out of it which then very slowly melt.

 Dish Soap + Corn Starch = Super Fun Bubble Dough


You can even “break” it.

 Dish Soap + Corn Starch = Super Fun Bubble Dough


After we were done, I stored the rest in an airtight container and it has kept without spoiling for about a month, although it has become much drier.  It isn’t so good for playing with anymore, but sometimes, I let Sweet Pea pinch off a little bit of the dough and use it to wash her hands.


 Dish Soap + Corn Starch = Super Fun Bubble Dough

This was one of the best “dough” mixtures we have ever used.  It has a great texture and is only a little bit messy.  Huge props to Creative Playhouse for discovering it!   I highly recommend it for all ages.  If your tot is too little to keep her hands out of her eyes, you could probably use a No Tears shampoo instead of the dish soap.  

It just occurred to me that I should try to mix the remains of our DIY liquid snot-soap with cornstarch and see what happens.  Off I go to experiment!

Notes from the Trenches: 

Adding water to the dough will create a gloopy mess.  And again, avoid getting any of it in the eyes since the soap will sting.  

I really want to call this material “clean clay” instead of “bubble dough” since it is essentially just malleable soap,  but since Kat over at Creative Playhouse came up with the recipe, I figure that she should get to name it.

Rating: 4 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Independent, Frugal)

Link Ups:  This post is linked up to It’s Playtime! @ Kid’s Activities Blog.

10 comments to Bubble Dough

  • Sars

    Did this with my daughters (3 years & 5 years). They love it and I love it! I dislike ordinary play dough, I think it’s yucky and refuse to buy it. But thanks to you, now we have an alternative! Thank you for sharing this. 🙂 We’re from Finland and maybe the consistency of my dish soap is somehow different, ‘cos I had to pour something like 3/4ths of a cup until it was mold-able.

    • Shannon (admin)

      Thanks for your comment. I sort of hate ordinary Play-Doh too, but Sweet Pea loves it. I dread when she asks to play with it because it is such a mess to clean up. 🙂

      I think all the different brands of soap have a different viscosity so it is hard to give an exact recipe, but I’m glad you made it work for you!

  • chanelle

    As a nanny of four girls aged
    2, 3, 4, & 6 in New Zealand I know that they are going to LOVE this I cant wait to make this on Monday with them!
    Thanks heaps 🙂

  • Nanette

    Did this today with the kids I babysit. They loved it. Thank you for sharing!

  • Heather

    This got me thinking about LUSH brand play dough soap. I bet it’s the same thing. I want to try with other liquid soaps purely for use in the tub, and hand washing. Very fun! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Lindsey K

    Thanks for sharing this! My toddler and I put some together this morning, and it was a huge hit!

  • Pam

    I am always looking for something I can put inside the sensory table that is not just water and enhancements. This sounds wonderful, I am going to try it!

    • Shannon (admin)

      I hope this works for you. I was thinking that if I going to make Bubble Dough again for young kids, I think I would try to make it with “no tears” shampoo instead of dish soap. Let me know how your kids like it! 🙂

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