Adventures in Play Dough

Gluten Free Play Dough Recipe

If I make a confession, will you think less of me?

I hate play dough.  It makes such a mess and, well, isn’t that enough reason?  I might be one of the only moms on the planet who has not only not made their kids play dough but have never bought it for them either.  I know, horrible.

Well, today I thought I would break out of my mold and give it a try.  And yes they made a huge mess (that I still haven’t cleaned up yet) and 2 yo Cuddlebug is running around in his underwear, covered in play dough.  But when it’s all said and done, the mess was worth it.

My friend Anita at Homeschooling Grammy inspired me with her post “When You Need a Fun Day“.  I used her advice for making the play dough gluten by subbing equal parts rice flour and a starch.  Worked like a charm.  Felt just like the play dough my mom used to make (she was a good mom). 6 yo Tiger Boy helped me make it.

Making Play Dough

Cuddlebug was determined to eat the colorful play dough even though I warned him it was yucky.  He would taste, crinkle up his face, spit it out and 2 minutes later, do it again and again and again. It might have been the yummy smelling essential oils in it kept tricking him.

Playing with Play Dough

We started off with green and orange and ended up with grorange. I remember being a bit nuts over keeping my play dough colors separate when I was little. Not my kids.  Tie-dye play dough rocks!

Anyway, here’s the recipe.

Gluten Free Play Dough

  • 1/2 cup finely ground white rice flour (other gluten free grains should work too)
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 cup fine grain salt
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 cup water
  • Food coloring (I prefer natural food coloring)
  • Optional: a few drops essential oil for yummy smells (I used lemon and orange)

In a small pot, mix together the dry ingredients.  Whisk in the water and oil to a smooth paste, add food coloring .  Turn stove top on to low/med heat.  With a wooden spoon  (you’ll want something sturdy), continually stir the flour mixture until it thickens up.  Keep stirring until it’s no longer soupy and stays together in a ball like this:

Thickened Play Dough

 Let cool and then let them play!


2 comments to Adventures in Play Dough

  • sammy

    looks like fun! I constantly have dried playdoh all over my kitchen floor because it is one of the few things that will occupy Dylan for more than 20 minutes. Good idea adding the essential oils!-will have to try that. The homemade stuff definitely lasts a lot longer than the stuff from the store…..but I buy it occasionally because it’s pretty cheap. I want to try the edible peanut butter playdoh (yum!) BTW-what are you growing in your aquarium (in the picture) and why is it glowing?=)

  • Lol, yeah, it’s pretty gross. That happened while we were in Minnesota and I hadn’t had a chance to clean it out yet.

    I want to try figuring out a gluten free peanut butter playdoh. My mom used to make it when we were little and it was so much fun.

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