Best DIY Gluten Free Play Dough Recipes

This year, buying Christmas gifts for Boo and Lu was going to be so simple!  They both wanted Play Doh.  (The kind that comes in a kit to make princess dresses, hamburgers . . . stuff like that.)  They picked out their favorite kits, and I breathed a sigh of relief that Santa would have it really easy this year . . . that is until my mom and sister pointed out that Play Doh is not gluten free.  What????  I totally forgot!

Which Gluten-Free Play Dough Recipe Works the Best? {Recipes and Review from OneCreativeMommy.com}

Since no mom wants to deny her child's reasonable gift requests, I set to work making my own Gluten Free Play Dough.  But which recipe to choose?  I would need lots of dough, so why not try a few and share my results with you?  That's exactly what I did.

1 Mom + 3 Recipes + a few hours kiddo free and lots of rice flour = Tons of play dough and very sore forearm muscles!!!

Gluten-Free Play Dough Recipe Review and Tips from OneCreativeMommy.com -- I tried three recipes to see which was the best! #glutenfree #playdough

I tried three recipes:

  1. Gluten-Free Play Dough (originally from the Celiac Disease Foundation)
  2. Easiest Gluten Free Play Dough Recipe from Celiac Family
  3. Kool-Aid Gluten Free Play Dough from Celiac Family

Here's what I learned:  They all result in nice play dough that matches the texture of real Play Doh.  They also all require adding extra corn starch and kneading--a lot.  They all work just as well as regular Play Doh.  Which is best?  It depends on what you are looking for.

My favorite:  Easiest Gluten Free Play Dough Recipe from Celiac Family

Why?  It makes the most dough (although the others are pretty close), and it turns out very white.  I like the white because it makes the prettiest colors, and it's the only recipe that can actually be used as white.  (Gotta have white!)

Get the recipe here.

Gluten-Free Play Dough Recipe Review and Tips from OneCreativeMommy.com -- I tried three recipes to see which was the best! #glutenfree #playdough

2nd favorite:  (Recipe below)

Gluten-Free Play Dough from the Celiac Disease Foundation--It's all over the web and in magazines, so I feel okay about sharing it here:

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup white rice flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • Food coloring, if desired

Directions:
Mix ingredients. Cook and stir on low heat for 3 minutes or until it forms a ball. Cool completely before storing in a sealable plastic bag.

This one works nicely, but the color is more of a pale cream.  If you don't need to make white, it should work fine.

Least favorite:  Kool-Aid Gluten Free Play Dough

This recipe would be perfect if you want to make a batch for lots of kids to use the same color.  My goal was to make lots of colors, so this wasn't a smart choice for me.  I made orange dough and successfully recolored it to an ugly red, a brown that matches a color you might find on your shoe after walking the dog, and a glittery orange.  I hated the smell of orange Kool-Aid after about three minutes of kneading the dough.

Get the recipe here.  (This is the same link as above.  Both recipes are in the same post.)

As usual, I made all of the mistakes so that you don't have to!  Here are some final tips to make your dough mimic the dough that comes with the fancy kits.

  • When adding food coloring, don't forget what you learned in elementary school!  First add the lightest color, mix well, and then add the darker color a little bit at a time.  I tried to make purple, but accidentally added blue food coloring first.  I ended up with a nice gray instead!  (I added fine glitter, and it now looks silver.  I actually wanted silver, so it was a happy accident.)
  • It is difficult to create dark colors.  Plan on adding lots of food coloring!!!
  • You can mimic the fancy glitter Play Doh!  Just make a well in the dough, dump in some fine glitter, and knead it like crazy!  It comes in lots of colors.  My kids love the glitter dough.

Three batches of dough made enough for two gifts of ten colors each.

Gluten Free Play Dough Recipe Review and Tips - All Colors

 So, are you wondering what Santa did about the Play Doh kits my kids wanted?  I let him know that I'd take care of the Play Dough, and assigned him something else.  Yes.  I did buy the kits.  That means I payed for Play Doh that my kids won't be able to use.  They kept the design tools, and the Play Doh will be given as birthday gifts to their friends.  I'm very happy with the result.  Happy kids who don't feel deprived because of Celiac!

Gluten-Free Play Dough Recipe Review and Tips from OneCreativeMommy.com -- I tried three recipes to see which was the best! #glutenfree #playdough

Want more kid-friendly gluten free recipes?  You might like these:

Kid-Friendly Gluten Free Recipes from OneCreativeMommy.com  {Chicken Caruso, Pumpking Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chili Meatball Supper)

Chicken Caruso | Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies | Chili Meatball Supper

This post was featured at these awesome sites:

Allergy Free RecipesThe Sepia Puppy

Click here to see the other fantastic sites I like to link up with each week.

Heidi




Comments

  1. I had never thought of gluten-free play doh before. I'm pinning so I can make it for the nursery children at church ~ one needs to be gluten-free so we haven't been using play doh. Thanks for sharing.

    • Only one of my kids needs gluten free, but if even one kid is using it, then there is gluten all over everything! Just remember when trying any of these recipes. Just like the salt dough recipe in the Primary 1 manual, the recipe may end up very runny! I had to add a lot of extra corn starch to mine. Make sure you have extra on hand to add. Just keep kneading it in until you get the texture you want. (I still remember the first time a teacher in primary tried the salt dough and didn't know she could add extra flour. It was such a mess! We laughed about it later.)

      I'm sure the parent of your nursery child will really appreciate your efforts to make the room safe for her! Thanks for doing that! It makes a huge difference.

  2. I'm defininately pinning this. I have so many friends that have little ones that are gluten-free. Thanks for testing and trying them out for us.

  3. Please share this with us at Eco_kids Tuesday! This is good info. We recently have gone GF and see so many great results! http://likemamalikedaughter.blogspot.com/2013/02/bunnys-bento-box-eco-kids-tuesday.html

  4. I love homemade play dough! Thanks for posting!

  5. This is wonderful! Thanks for sharing. I'd love it if you'd link the to Family Fun Friday at http://happyandblessedhome.com
    Thanks again!
    Monica

  6. Thanks again for sharing your review. I'm glad you found the recipe worked out good for you. I have made double batches for my kids' classes in the past, and it always worked out great. I've also made the recipe, adding ginger and cinnamon for a seasonal scent during the Holiday Seasons. I love the idea of adding glitter! I'll have to give it a try next time.

  7. Great post, Heidi, and love that you included several different recipes. My mom always used to make us play dough and I've often wondered if there was a gluten free version. I also wonder if natural food dyes would work?

    Thanks so much for sharing this on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday. I've pinned it :)

  8. Hey!
    You've been featured on my blog this week for Triple Heart Tuesday!

    Feel free to come by and link up again and grab your featured button!

    <3 Bethany @ Thesepiapuppy.blogspot.com

  9. Love how you you tested all the recipes out Heidi! Thank you so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!

  10. I have got to make some of this for my boys! I hope you stop by Gluten Free Fridays this week to link up this yummy recipe! It will be live Thursday evening at 7:05 pm! We are having a Gluten Free giveaway this week to one lucky person! Hope to see you there! Cindy :)

  11. Great recipe!!

  12. Thanks for testing these out and your helpful tips!! I honestly didn't even know about adding the lighter food coloring colors before adding the darker . . . I suppose you learn something new every day?! ;)

  13. Thanks for sharing at Gluten Free Fridays! I have this bookmarked to make some for my boys! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    Thanks for linking back to the Gluten Free Fridays post!

    Party starts tonight at 7:05 pm eastern time! Hope to see you there!

    Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  14. Danielle Gleason says:

    How long does it last for without hardening while stored?

  15. Just finished making two huge batches of the "easy" recipe, and our Playdoh turned out great! I am keeping one batch home and sending the other to preschool with my daughter. Horray for GF playdoh!! Thanks so much for posting! ~Alison

  16. I used the first recipe, and it turned out great, UNTIL i added the natural food coloring! Then it got super super sticky. I mixed up a bowl of rice flour, corn starch, and salt in the right proportions and kept it on hand, instead of just the corn starch. That allowed the dough to stay dry while working in the color! Only complaint was that I can't make blue! It just keeps turning purple! I guess as long as I can avoid red 40 and yellow 5, we'll be ok! (my green turned brown, btw!) UGH!

    BUT the white, pre coloring, was FABULOUS, and I imagine that using a fake blue will be fine otherwise. Thanks!

  17. So, my issue is that I have an allergy kiddo and right now....we can use coconut flour, coconut oils and olive oil. Can you help me with a variation that allows us to use coconut flour???? (ugggh)

    • I'm so sorry, Angela. I don't have any experience with coconut flour. I just did a quick google search for gluten free play dough coconut flour. I didn't see any recipes. I only found a statement that coconut flour does not work well for this. Sorry I can't be of more help. You might look into Moon Dough. I've heard that it is gluten-free, but I don't know what other ingredients it contains.
      Heidi recently posted...Mock Lime Cheesecake for St. Patrick's DayMy Profile

  18. I have to say, we do not worry about being gluten-free around here, and even when we did it was just too take out gluten from my diet as I tried to eat healthier, so I never thought of the fact that people with real problems with gluten would have to have gluten free playdough. I will have to keep this in mind for those I know need to keep gluten out of their lives completely.
    Thanks for sharing this post over at Throwback Thursday. I can't wait to see what you share this week.
    Karen W recently posted...Wordless Wednesday: July 2, 2014 (w/linky)- Graduation Time!My Profile

  19. Hi, my daughter just started preschool and the teacher has asked for me to supply her with gluten free play dough since my daughter is gluten free, but I need it to be corn free as well. Do you have any suggestions on what I should use instead of the corn starch. Thank you so much!! :)

  20. Did you use white rice, or brown rice flour?

    Thanks!

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