Make blinged-up playdough

Play-dough recipe using natural coloring
Above: Turmeric and Matcha flavored play-dough

This post shares a play-dough recipe unlike no other. That’s because it features some simple ingredients that you can add to bling it up!

Play-dough is one of the all-time-greatest toddler activities to have been invented. It can also be a wonderful kid’s art activity because it is:

  • Easy to make with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry
  • A fun sensory-based activity that kids can do at home
  • Something you can keep re-using for months (if you store it correctly)

Age range: 1 year + but also fun for adults!

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients for blinging up your play-dough:

Before making your dough, think about what ingredients you would like to add to bling it up! These additional bits help to make kids play a sensory experience by incorporating different smells, textures and colors. Things you can add are:

  • Essential oils. These are lovely for adding scents to your play-dough! I used lavender and rose in my play-dough.
  • Artificial food dye bought from the store
  • Natural food colors including:
    • Yellow – Turmeric or curry powder (1/2 tsp)
    • Brown – Coffee grounds (1/4 cup) or cocoa powder (1 TBS)
    • Green – Matcha or spirulina powder (1/2 -1 TBS)
    • Blue – 3 TBS red cabbage juice + 1/2 two baking powder. Use 3 TBS less hot water if using this option.
  • You can also add glitter to play-dough to bling it up. However if you are doing this, please try and source an eco-friendly glitter that won’t destroy the environment.

Okay, now it is time to make your dough! Pick one of the recipes below.

Play-dough recipe 1: ‘No cook’

My first recipe is pinched from The Montessori Notebook. I love it because it is a no-cook method so you don’t have to use a hot plate! Kids can also help to measure and stir the ingreditents.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 TBS cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 TBS cooking oil
  • Food coloring (artificial or natural, see the list above for inspiration)


  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups
Ingredients used to make play-dough


  • Mix the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl
  • Add the boiling water, food coloring and oil to the dry ingredients. Mix until it pulls away from the edges of the bowl and forms a large clump.
  • Leave the mixture to cool for a few minutes then knead it until it’s smooth. Add 3-4 drips of essential oils (if using) while kneading. ⠀

Play-dough recipe 2: ‘No cream of tartar’

This play-dough recipe is great if you have no cream of tartare at home. Here is what you need:


  • 1 cup flour ⠀
  • 1/4 cup salt⠀
  • 3/4 cup of water ⠀
  • 3 TBS of lemon juice or white vinegar ⠀
  • 1 TBS oil (any will do but coconut oil is divine)⠀


  • Mixing bowl⠀
  • Wooden spoon⠀
  • Pot⠀
  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • Baking paper (useful but not essential)⠀


  • Mix dry ingredients in the mixing bowl – kids could give you a hand!⠀
  • Add the water, oil, lemon juice and food coloring into the pot (pictured below). Mix while bringing the mixture to a simmer.
  • Remove from heat and keep stirring until the mixture forms a large clump.
  • Place the clump on a piece of baking paper or a plate to cool⠀
  • Knead until the play-dough is smooth and doesn’t have any lumps. Add 3-4 drips of essential oils (if using) while kneading. ⠀
Play dough recipe you can make at home (instructions)

Find some fun tools and objects

Once you have your play-dough ready, you can then find some bits and pieces from around the house that kids can use to play with it.

The obvious choices are cookie-cutters and rolling pins however if you don’t have these, or want to try something new, I highly recommend looking around the house for some more creative tools and objects. These could include:

  • Lids
  • Gemstones
  • Toothpicks (great for creating 3D sculptures with play-dough)
  • A butter knife
  • Buttons
  • Small plastic containers
  • Natural materials such as stones, bark, leaves and flowers.

I would recommend introducing these different materials gradually over a period of time instead of putting them all out at once.

Play dough recipe you can make at home


Store in an air-tight container or in cling wrap. The play dough should keep for a few months. If it does start to feel dry, put a couple of water drops on it and knead through.

Art Play Children Learning on Instagram

If you are keen to get some more kids art projects to do at home, please make sure you are following the Art Play Children Learning on Instagram as I will be posting lots of stuff there in the coming weeks. I have also started a hashtag #quarantineplayideas on Instagram. Lots of parents from all over the world are uploading play ideas to do at home that are being shared on my Instagram account.

Happy making!

Louisa x

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