The Best Natural Playdough Recipe
by Jasmine at Crafty Little Folk
What activities do you remember loving when you were a young child? Making mud pies? Building sheet cubbies? Or perhaps creating with playdough? The Best Natural Playdough Recipe
Our two daughters loved all three!!! Unlike mudpies or cubbies, playdough was a lovely experience we could share at the kitchen table while I was busy cooking and doing jobs.
Back then I used the basic recipe from the back of the cream of tartar pack. It was good enough, but I secretly longed for that silky playdough from the girls’ kindergarten days.
Our girls are now grown up now and I’m lucky to be an Early Childhood Educator.
I get paid to make playdough!!
Now I’ve tried every possible version of making playdough over the last four years, but the recipe below takes the cake – everytime.
It has two extra ingredients that creates silky, smooth, long-lasting playdough, making it what I think is the best natural playdough recipe ever!
But first – why make playdough?
♥ The wonderful benefits of playdough
Engages your child’s senses, imagination & creativity
Develops their fine motor skills & hand-eye coordination
Encourages free play & problem solving
Creates a soothing, calming activity
♥ Types of playdough
Scented with food grade essences eg. vanilla, peppermint, rose water, coconut, lemon
Coloured with natural food dyes or flavoured fruit teas
Spiced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice
Themed to reflect the seasons or calendar events (ie peppermint essence with red and white coloured play dough for Christmas)
♥ Accessories for playdough
Small wooden rolling pins, bamboo knives & forks
Jar lids, cookie cutters, paper towel rolls
Paddlepop sticks, small candles, cupcake wrappers, paper straws
Leaves, twigs, stones, shell, edible flowers
Small dishes, tiny glass jars, trays
Pompoms, lace, large buttons, fine eco glitter
Plastic animals, toy fences, interesting containers from the recycling
I’m a big fan of child-led learning, so if the time is available allow your children to have input into the colours, flavours & accessories used in their dough play.
Making playdough together is so fun & gives children the skills for other types of dough making (like homemade pizza!).
So here it is, the best natural playdough recipe for you!
The Best Natural Playdough Recipe
2 cups plain flour
2 cups cornflour
1 cup of salt dissolved
2 cups of boiling water
4 tablespoons of cream of tartar
4 tablespoons of vegetable oil (or oil of your choice)
4 tablespoons of glycerine (found in medicine section of the supermarket)
Optional – natural food colouring or essences
A large mixing bowl & a small metal bowl
Measuring cups & spoons
A metal spoon & wooden spoon
Kettle for boiling water
♥ Mix both flours & cream of tartar together in a large bowl.
♥ Dissolve the salt in boiling water. This is easiest done in a small metal bowl. Mix with a spoon. Or sometimes I heat it on the stove.
♥ Add oil, glycerine & food colouring to the salty water.
♥ Make a well in the flour mix & pour in the wet mixture.
♥ Mix with a wooden spoon until combined.
♥ Turn out onto a floured surface & knead for 30 seconds Don’t miss this step – it’s the secret.
This recipe makes a really big batch, so feel free to halve the recipe if you need to. Store your dough in glass jars with lids.
All up it should take you less than 10 minutes to make in return for hours of fun creative play. Our daughters loved playdough for many years & so did their friends!
A jar of playdough or several small jars in different colours and scents make great DIY birthday gifts.
If you would like a printable PDF for the best natural play dough recipe you find it at my Crafty Little Folk website.
I’m Jasmine & I love to create fun, engaging activities to share with those busy little people in your life.
Are you an Early Childhood Educator (like me!) or a parent or grandparent looking for a range of easy, yet charming experiences to create together? Fresh, free printables are added often, so you can print & go, having more time with your little folk.
Caring for young children is a big, fun messy job. Sharing in their growth, watching their personalities develop & building meaningful relationships is such a joy & privilege.
Creating safe, stimulating environments is also a big job. Here at Crafty Little Folk, I hope to share the experiences our children love exploring & inspire you to get messy!
I have a new membership just for Early Childhood Educators, providing support and connection as well as easy activity ideas. Check out Crafty Little Educators.