DIY Natural Play Dough: An Easy Recipe for Safe, Non-Toxic Fun

Posted by Mandy Abel on

Squishy, soft, buttery goodness! We love homemade play dough over store bought for so many reasons - it's simple to make, budget friendly and you know exactly what is in it!

It's also super easy to add your own colours and scents using natural ingredients you probably already have in your home. The creation is half of the fun - get your little ones involved by measuring out ingredients and letting them get messy with the mixing.

We use a simple recipe which keeps well - if you store it in an air tight container in the fridge it lasts months (we recently found a container that I had forgotten about and it was still fresh over a year later!)


✦ 2 cups of flour
✦ 1/2 cup of salt
✦ 2 tbsp cream of tartar*
✦ 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
✦ 2 cups of boiling water

Optional: We love to colour our dough naturally - take a peek in your pantry to see what spices you have on hand. Paprika and turmeric are two of our favourites to use, but you can also try matcha powder, cocoa powder or even ground herbs (note - depending on what you choose, the dough may stain certain surfaces or clothing).

For a Christmas mix - stir in some cinnamon; and for a sensory twist pop in a few drops of your favourite of essential oil (we love lavender for a calming option!). Adding dried herbs such as rosemary or lavender are also lovely ways to add texture 🌿

* Cream of tartar gives play dough a super soft texture. It is an acid so also stabilises recipes it is used in and makes the play dough last longer. You can use lemon juice as an alternative.


1. Simply mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and slowly add the boiling water (start with one cup and then add more as you go). Mix until the dough comes together. 

2. Transfer the dough onto a work surface and knead until smooth (you may need to add a bit more flour if it's too sticky).

3. Divide into portions and add your choice of spices to each piece of dough (the amount required will vary based on how much of the dough you colour and how vibrant you want it to be). Thoroughly knead again until the colour is evenly mixed through.

Beautiful, buttery homemade play dough with no nasties - perfect for honing those fine motor skills in little hands!

Check out our range of fair trade and ethically handcrafted play dough accessories and wooden stamps.

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