Homemade play dough

There were a lot of blog posts last week about homemade play dough recipes.  After reading them, I realized the last time I made play dough was when I made gingerbread play dough as Christmas gifts for the boys last year.  We were definitely due for a new batch so into the kitchen I went.  Making play dough is ridiculously easy and I use this recipe from Hidden Ponies.

I will first make a disclaimer by saying that I do not use food coloring unless it is from natural based sources.  So, the food coloring that I used for this play dough can be found here.

Since I love fall, I immediately thought of making a pumpkin pie play dough.  I only have two colors of natural dyes so I figured I’d have to play around with using spices to help color the dough.  I followed the play dough recipe exactly with the exception of using the dyes and vanilla extract.  I used ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg to give the dough it’s pumpkin pie smell.  I added a bit of paprika and natural yellow dye to change the color.  I wasn’t feeling the result so I added a little cocoa powder and that helped the color. Unfortunately, the dough smelled like hot chocolate so I had to add a bit more nutmeg to get the smell back to pumpkin pie.  Here is the final result:



Then, I thought it would be fun to make a mint play dough.  This was inspired by T-Man’s congestion.  I followed the same recipe minus the artificial dyes and vanilla extract.  My idea was to mix the yellow and blue natural dyes to make green and then use peppermint essential oil as the smell.  Well as I dropped the coloring in, it began looking a bit orange.  I was having some trouble getting the dyes to make green and I should have probably mixed the dyes before I started dropping it into the dough.  The natural dye colors are more intense so it does take some experimentation.  Since the dough was turning orange, I decided to go with spiced orange.  I added some ground cloves for the sweet, spicy scent.  I added orange extract but to me, the alcohol smell was more overpowering than the orange so I added some sweet orange essential oil.  This smelled wonderful!  Here is the final product:


The boys loved making pies and cookies with the pumpkin pie play dough!  If you are interested in using essential oils, you can get a great starter pack from Eden Gardens.   This is the one I have and used the oils for the playdough.  I have not given up on the peppermint play dough.  That one is next on my list!

What are some tried and true homemade play dough recipes that you use?


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