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Natural Play Dough and Fun Recipes

by Tiffany in Children

Natural Play Dough Recipes

Kids love to get their hands messy and play with good ole fashioned play dough. The stuff in the stores though could have any number of unsavory ingredients. The truth is we don’t know because the major players in the industry refuse to disclose ingredients, claiming that it is proprietary. The uber bright colors are enough to make me worry though because there are lots of toxic nasties in dyes. The powers that be claim are they “perfectly safe”. I say why wonder when you can make your own. Enjoy!

from the Lisa Lewis book Special Diets for Special Kids

1/2 c. white rice flour
1/2 c. corn starch
1/2 c. salt
2 t. cream of tartar
1 c. water
1 t. cooking oil

Cook all ingredients over low heat until you can form a ball.m When cool, store in zipper plastic bag.


3 cups flour
1.5 cups salt
6 tsp cream of tarter
3 tbsp oil
3 cups water

Pour all ingredients into a large pot and stir constantly over medium heat until a ball forms.  Knead the play dough until the texture matches conventional play dough (1-2 minutes). Add food coloring if you want colored play dough. Store in plastic container.  Should last for at least 3 months.

NOTE:  This recipe is made from edible ingredients it is not intended as a food item.

Peanut Butter Play Dough

18 oz. peanut butter
6 tbsps. honey
Non-fat dry milk
Cocoa for flavor

Mix all ingredients, adding enough dry milk to give make dough pliable. Shape, decorate with edible treats, and eat!

Colored Play dough

1 cup flour
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
Natural food coloring

Mix all ingredients in saucepan. Heat, stirring constantly until ball forms. Knead until smooth.

Simple Play Dough

1 cup flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup water

Gradually add water to flour and oatmeal in bowl. Kneed until mixed (this dough is sticky, but unique in texture.) Model as with clay.

Salt Dough

Equal amounts salt and flour; then add enough water to make it doughy. Dries hard in a couple of days and then you can paint it.

Related recipes:

Earth Friendly Goo

1 cup water
1 cup cornstarch
4-5 drops fruit juice  like blueberry or raspberry (combine a 1/4 cup of the food with 2 cups water, simmer for an hour. Cool, strain, and use as coloring).

Work the ingredients together and let your kids have fun with this gooey concoction.

Natural and Safe Finger Paint

1/3 cup soap flakes melted with 1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup cold water

A few drops juice dyes (combine a 1/4 cup of the colored food like beets, blueberries, or raspberries with 2 cups water, simmer for an hour. Cool, strain, and use as coloring).

Make Your Own Bubbles

1 qt water
8 tbs glycerin, can be purchased at drug stores
6-8 tbs Ivory dish soap
Mix all ingredients together and use outdoors with bubble blowers.

Make Your Own Silly Putty

2 cups white school glue
1 cup liquid starch

Mix together and set aside until dry. Store in an airtight container.

Natural Play Dough Recipes -

  • Ronni Keller

    We’ve made the salt dough and the cookie dough both. It’s always a fun day!

  • Jenni E.

    We’ve made different doughs like this in the past. We always make salt dough ornaments every year…so much fun. I want to try a couple of yours here!

  • Brandy M

    We make Salt Dough ornaments every year for Christmas. I love seeing how the boys painting and imagination grow from year to year with these ornaments.

  • I used to love making playdough for my kids…they could spend hours being creative with that stuff!

  • Debra Rutt

    Wow – so many varieties of home made play dough! I want to make salt dough ornaments with the kidlets this year. I have some from the first year the hubs and I were married, we made them to decorate our tree!