Easy Natural Play Dough Recipe

All summer our kids have been enjoying tons of outdoor sensory play at the beach and in the grass, gardens, mud, sand, and water. Now, as the weather cools and autumn settles in, we're finding ourselves brought back into more indoor sensory play. So, today we made a big batch of play dough in an assortment of colors! 

We've tried a number of recipes over the years, with most of it ending up sticking to their hands and surfaces and while super fun to play with caused lengthy clean up. So, we tinkered with recipes until we made a fantastic and easy 4 ingredient play dough masterpiece!

Natural Play Dough Recipe

Single batch:
- 1 cup white flour
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil

Triple Batch (for multiple colors):
- 3 cups white flour
- 3 cups water
- 3/4 cup sea salt
- 6 Tablespoons melted coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Mix the 4 ingredients together in a pot.
  2. Place on the stove on medium/low heat and stir the mixture. It will start to stick to the bottom and you'll scrape it up, similar to making scrambled eggs. It will slowly form into a ball. Keep stirring and forming the ball until it is no longer gooey and the water has been soaked up.
  3. Remove from the stove and scoop your ball onto a surface too cool. 
  4. Once able to handle, cut the ball into pieces to make your colors. 
  5. Add your colors, if desired. Knead 1/2 tsp of the powders listed below into the dough then, if needed, add more until you get the desired color. Refrigerate when not playing with it. 
  • yellow: turmeric powder
  • brown: cinnamon
  • green: spirulina
  • blue: blue spirulina 
  • pink: beet root powder OR cut up one beet into slices and add 1 cup water, soak the beets for 10-15 min, strain, and use the pink water in place of the regular water in the single batch recipe

Play Ideas:

Let their imaginations soar as they squish, roll, and shape the dough. You may also enjoy setting up some imaginative play and pretend to be a:

- paleontologist by making fossils by pressing sea shells, rocks, pine cones, acorns, insect figures, etc. (see photo above)

- baker / chef / restaurant by putting out butter knives, teaspoons, measuring cups and spoons, cookie cutters, rolling pin, small dishes, etc. 

- construction worker by using mini vehicles to make road, excavate fossils and rocks, etc.

Afterward, fill the sink with warm soapy water and have them enjoy washing their play dough accessories and toys in the soothing water! Place a towel beside the sink for them to put their clean toys on then give them a few measuring cups or an old soap bottle and they'll be enjoying even more sensory play!

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