Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Allergy-Friendly Play Dough (2 ways)

I came across a really fun child-friendly activity/gift idea in the latest issue of Living Free magazine (pg. 10): making your own allergy-friendly play dough! 
I've been thinking about the Holidays here and all the gift giving that's just around the corner.  Between my husband and I we have a pretty big family and we can't possibly buy everyone a gift.  We find pleasure in simple 1-item gift exchanges, happiness in each other's company, good food, music, and laughter.  But we do have little children in our immediate and extended family.  When I read this article in Living Free I thought, now there is a super cute idea for a child.  You could make the dough yourself, or provide the ingredients in a little jar with instructions and they could make it at their leisure.  I wanted to share the two recipes with you today.  

#1: Play Clay
Makes about 2 pounds
If not used immediately, store in an airtight container 
or plastic bag in the refrigerator.

1 cup potato starch or cornstarch
2 cups baking soda
1 1/4 cups cold water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, or oil of choice 
2-3 drops food color (optional) - I only use this natural plant-based food coloring

How To
1.  Mix together potato starch and baking soda and pour into sauce pan.
2.  Mix water and oil in small bowl.  Add food coloring, if using.
3.  Heat saucepan and pour in water and oil, stirring constantly about 3 minutes or until clay holds together in a ball. (Small lumps will appear and then clay will hold together.)
4.  Turn off heat.  Spoon clay onto parchment paper and let cool slightly.

#2: Salt Dough
Makes about 1 pound 
If not used immediately, store in an airtight 
container or plastic bag in the refrigerator. 

1 cup table salt
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup water, more as needed
2 drops food coloring (see above)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil, if needed

How To
1.  Mix together salt and flour in a saucepan.  Pour in water and add food coloring, if using.
2.  Cook over medium meat until dough forms into a ball.  If dough is too dry to hold together, add more water 1 Tbsp at a time.
3.  Spoon dough onto parchment paper and let cool slightly 
4.  Knead until smooth and shape into a ball.  If dough is too hard, knead in 1 teaspoon oil until well distributed.
Picture from Hippo Flambe

Shard on: Thriving on Thursday, 


  1. Your blog is full of good ideas. I will have to try this one. We used to order gluten-free play dough from discount school supply, but it was very pricey. Then we tried the soy-yer dough which worked better with his playdough toys, but the colors were very pastel. Plus we would have fun making our own. Thanks for the great post.

  2. Thanks!

    I would love to hear how you like it if you make it. :-)

    Be Well,

  3. Anything that is SCD friendly? Could you use coconut or almond flour?

  4. Hello Anonymous,

    Great question. I have also wondered about this. If I come across any tested recipes I will add a link here in the comments. Or, if I create a recipe I will definitely post it on my blog.

    I found some info on a basic modeling clay recipe on line, and I'm guessing you can just use coconut flour as a substitute for "regular" flour:

    "The simplest recipe for modeling clay, long a favorite of parents with young children, contains 3 parts flour, 1 part water and 1 part salt. No cooking is required; you simply mix up the ingredients in a bowl, and the clay is ready for your child's artistic play. Although this concoction does not taste good, you need not worry about your little one trying a bite, since it is nontoxic. You can even mix a few drops of food coloring into the clay for added interest."

    Be Well,


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