Homemade Fall Play Dough


Last week, I made some scrumptious fall play dough to test and take with us to playgroup. However, our playgroup was cancelled because the room we use was unavailable for the week. Rather than let the play dough go to waste, I got together with a couple friends to let the kids play with it.
I made four different recipes. Two were no cook, and the other two homemade play dough recipes involved the stove top. My big mistake making these was trying to multitask and do it all at once, but everything turned out ok in the end.

The first recipe I tried was Pumpkin Spice Marshmallow Dough, which is technically a fondant. This one involves no cooking and is edible, so I enlisted my toddler to help. Evan was excited. I started by putting the ingredients together and getting them somewhat mixed, then I handed the bowl over to him so I could get started on the next one.

The next recipe I made was Night Sky Play Dough. It was supposed to be astronomy themed, but I figured black with glitter could totally be for Halloween.
I wanted to keep it fairly edible since the playgroup is for younger kids (most are under 18 months), so I used Wilton black gel food coloring for a pure black, instead of the paint the original recipe calls for.

Now, this is where I got frazzled. I was busy stirring the play dough on the stove when I noticed Evan dumped all of the flour into the marshmallow dough. I obviously had to tend to the play dough that was cooking first, but then I scooped out as much flour as I could salvage from the fondant. What I did get out of it, I figure I can use to make a cloud dough some time soon.

I couldn’t get all of it, and I knew I had to moisten the dough somehow. My first thought was coconut oil. Don’t do that. I did, and while it turned out fine, it can’t be used with other play dough or it will separate/seep. It was fine at the time, and even a few days later, but within minutes of being smashed into the other play dough it got gooey and sticky. I can’t wait to try it again though and see how it is supposed to turn out.

When I turned back to the black play dough, I was worried I had ruined it. It wasn’t well mixed, so I just did the rest by hand after it cooled.

Then I added in the glitter. And I realized that I absolutely do not have enough glitter.

When I made the third dough, it went a lot more smoothly. This is probably my favorite fall play dough, it would work throughout the entire season.

I made sure I had all the ingredients together before starting, having learned from my last stove experience, and got my husband to keep an extra eye out so I could focus. This third recipe is Pumpkin Pie Scented Dough, and believe me, it smells amazing! I threw in a bit of extra spice, and the color came out perfect I think.

Lastly, I made the commonly found conditioner/cornstarch play dough (recipe here), but used lotion from the dollar store instead of conditioner. This one was pretty fun. I split it in half, keeping some white, and dying the rest neon green.

A few days later when I went to use it, it had become crumbly at first. I can’t describe the texture. I probably should have used more lotion, to be honest. One person hated it and compared it to plaster, while another loved it. I loved it too. I’ll try it again with more lotion some time and see how that turns out.

UPDATE: The corn starch play dough went moldy while stored. I don’t know if its just the nature of it, or if it was the ingredients I used. I would not make this one again.

Meanwhile, Evan started decorating the Marshmallow dough with fake leaves I had laying around. Such a creative kid. He was having a blast with that fondant.

When we brought them all out to a friends house a few days later, Evan’s favorite way to play with it all was to smash all the types together and cut it. I had brought some other objects to play with, but he preferred to keep it simple.

My favorites were the two stovetop recipes, of course, while the others loved the marshmallow dough. The kids and moms enjoyed tasting it. Even Oliver, who is currently doing baby-led weaning and loving food, got to taste the play dough.

Have you tried making your own play dough at home? What’s your favorite recipe?

One thought on “Homemade Fall Play Dough

  1. Super fun!! What a messy fabulous idea!! I love anything and everything mixed media 🙂 Such great sensations and textures for the kiddos to experience!!

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