Make a Homemade Play Dough Kit

November 2020 - Natural Home

What’s even better than soft, squishy play dough? A Play Dough Kit! You know how play dough is extra awesome when paired with a couple of kitchen gadgets and a few little bits and bobs from around the house? Well, that’s exactly what a play dough kit is—everything you need for really fun and engaging play dough play, all organized in a portable container.

Play dough kits are fantastic for quiet time, independent play, sick days, and as a ready-to-go after school activity, but best of all, they make an incredible DIY gift. They’re unique and fully customizable, and it’s always nice to gift an activity rather than a toy that may or may not be a hit.

When creating a play dough kit as a gift, think about the likes and interests of the chid and go from there. What you include in the play dough kit is completely up to you, but it’s often easiest to start with a theme. Do they love space? Maybe dinosaurs? Baking? From there, decide what to include. A container, a couple of balls of dough, some loose parts, and a “tool” or two seems to be a good combination, but there are no rules! We often skip adding tools inside the kit and tie a mini rolling pin and a cookie cutter to the outside of the container instead.

First things first—play dough. This can be store bought, but if you want to make your own, this recipe is easy, super squishy, and lasts for months. Have fun creating your play dough kits this holiday season! Nothing beats a DIY gift made with love.

Recipe Play Dough


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, firmly packed
  • ¼ cup table salt
  • 1 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp glycerine
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • food colouring


  1. Whisk all ingredients (except water and food colouring) together in a large bowl.
  2. Pour boiling water into a dry cup measure and stir in drops of food colouring.
  3. Use a spoon to stir the tinted water into the flour mixture. (At this point, the mixture may seem too wet and sticky to make good play dough, but do not fret!) Let the mixture cool about 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a countertop, and knead it well, adding flour sparingly if needed. The dough is ready when it’s fully cooled, soft and squishy, and super smooth.
Build Your Own Play Dough Kit

1. Choose … a Theme

  • rainbow
  • desert
  • mermaid
  • pirate
  • coffee shop
  • unicorn
  • snow people
  • butterfly
  • nature
  • space
  • ice cream
  • creepy crawlies
  • donut shop
  • garden
  • firefighter
  • princess
  • fairy
  • …anything goes!
Dinosaur Kit
Include dough in blue, brown, and green to represent water, soil, and foliage, then add dinosaur and tree figurines. Finish the kit off with some wooden pieces, large glass gems, and interesting rocks.
Ocean Kit
Include dough in green and blue to represent seaweed and water, plus add a ball of sand dough (add one cup of sand to the basic recipe). Add ocean creature figurines, pebbles, glass gems, and beautiful shells to finish it off
Construction Kit
Include a ball of sand dough (add one cup of sand to the basic recipe), plus brown and black dough to represent sand, mud, and soil. Add construction trucks and finish the kit off with river rocks, wooden blocks, and branch slices.
Birthday Cupcake Kit
Include scented dough in funfetti (add vanilla to the water, knead in sprinkles once the dough is cool), strawberry (add strawberry extract to the water), and chocolate (add 1 tbsp cocoa plus a splash of extra boiling water if needed). Include mini cooking utensils, silicone cupcake liners, and cookie cutters. Finish the kit with birthday candles and wooden beads for sprinkles.

2. Tools You Will Need

  • small rolling pins
  • cookie cutters
  • stamps
  • large craft sticks
  • bamboo cutlery
  • crinkle cutters scissors
  • pastry cutters

3. Loose Parts

  • rocks
  • pompoms
  • sticks
  • glass gems
  • craft sticks
  • acorns
  • shells
  • beads
  • small lids
  • dried pasta
  • cinnamon sticks
  • pinecones
  • dry beans
  • corks

Jen Kossowan is a kindergarten and grade one teacher and mama of two gorgeous kiddos. She’s passionate about play, loves a good DIY project, and can most often be found in her kitchen whipping up recipes that taste delicious while meeting her crunchy mama criteria. She started Mama.Papa.Bubba. on a whim in 2010 while living in the Middle East and has been sharing her recipes and activities there ever since. | @mamapapabubba

Article was published in The Good Life magazine.

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