5 Fun and Frugal Playdough Recipes to Try

by Merissa on January 25, 2016

in Frugal Living Tips

5 Fun and Frugal Playdough Recipes to Try

5 Fun and Frugal Playdough Recipes to Try

Thanks to Kailyn for this article!

In my life outside of the internet I am a teacher in a classroom for students on the Autism Spectrum. Sensory awareness activities are very important for my students and over the years we have made a lot of play dough. Today I wanted to share with you our favorite play dough recipes that appeal to all of the senses. Making each of these would be a great way to teach young children about their senses or just have some family fun on a rainy day.


Here is our basic play dough recipe. It is great for your sense of sight because children can pick which color or colors they want to create. Another fun way to appeal to the sense of sight is to mix glitter into the dough. This can be fun especially around the holidays!

Basic Play Dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 10 drops food coloring (optional)
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1/2 cup salt

Bring the water to a boil.
Add the oil, vinegar and food coloring (if you want it colored)
Combine the hot, wet mixture with the dry ingredients (flour and salt)
Stir a little with a fork and then let it cool
Once it's cool, dump it out on the counter and mold it until it comes together as a ball.
Add more flour, if the mixture is too sticky



For scented play dough we use our basic play dough recipe but add a few drops of essential oils. Which oils we use depends on our moods. Some of our favorites include, lavender for calming, peppermint for motivating, and citrus for cheering us up.


Small beads or other objects mixed with our basic play dough recipe work really well to create a textured dough. Be careful when using beads with young children as they could be a choking hazard. Another option is to use chunky peanut butter in the edible play dough recipe below.


This is our favorite edible play dough recipe...and we've tasted a few. If peanuts are a concern for you it works well with any nut butter or sunflower seed butter.

Peanut Butter Play Dough Recipe:

  • 1 cup powdered milk (dry)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy for added texture or smooth)
  • 1 Teaspoon honey

Mix in a bowl, adding more powdered milk if it is too sticky...enjoy!



This is more of a slime than a play dough but it makes an awesome squishing noise when you squeeze it or push it into a cup. It's a big hit with my students but keep in mind that it can get a bit messier than play dough.

Slime Recipe:

  • 1 (4oz) Bottle of school glue (I like the clear kind best)
  • 1 teaspoon of Borax
  • ½ cup of warm water (plus enough to fill the glue bottle)
  • Food Coloring (optional)

Empty the bottle of glue into a large mixing bowl. Fill the glue bottle with warm water, add that to the glue and give it a good mix. In a small bowl or cup, mix the borax with ½ cup of warm water until it dissolves. Add the borax water to the glue bowl a little bit at a time until it starts to thicken. It will start out sticky but keep stirring / kneading and it will come together.

So, there you have it, more play dough recipes than you know what to do with. I’d love to hear your ideas and how you use play dough in your home or classroom.

My name is Kailyn and I am a teacher, a wife, a mother, and a wanna-be farmer.  I like to get my hands dirty in the garden and explorer my inner artist with DIY projects...some of which actually work. I'm raising my little girl, a flock of chickens and an energetic beagle in the woods of New England.  I blog about our homesteading adventures and journey to a more natural lifestyle at Our New England Home.

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