Gluten Free Play Dough Recipe and Tips

by Alissa Marquess on March 3, 2012

Play Dough– the ultimate sensory activity for preschoolers and older kids alike. Play dough will take a bad afternoon and turn it around.  All that mooshing and rolling seems to just sump up chaotic energy and transform it into blue cookies and oddly shaped car garages.Gluten Free Recipe for Play Dough

Unfortunately traditional play dough is made with wheat and in our household that is a bit of a problem.  I’ve found gluten free play dough with good reviews on Amazon, (Mama K’s Aromatic Play Clay for instance) but that’s no use when you need play dough NOW.

When I asked about a gluten free play dough recipe on the Creative With Kids Facebook page, Cait was kind enough to pass this one along. It makes for play dough very similar to the regular NON gluten free play dough.

Gluten Free Play Dough Recipe:

*Please see the notes for substitution ideas and tips

½ C Rice Flour
½ C Corn Starch or Arrow Root
½ C Salt
2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
1 C Water
2 T Oil

In a sauce pan mix flours and salt, mix in the rest of the ingredients and cook on low heat,  stirring, until thickened (a couple minutes).  Turn out mixture and, once cool enough, knead until smooth.  Add food coloring if you like.


  • You can sub in other flours for the rice flour, at least partly.  I have a big bag of bean flour we’re not using so I added about a 1/4 cup of that.
  • Likely tapioca starch or potato starch would work fine for the corn starch as well. This ingredient is the simple starch that helps “glue” the play dough together and adds a smooth feel.
  • Cream of tartar is an acid.  It acts as a stabilizer,  extending the “shelf-life” of play dough.
    You can substitute 1/4 tsp of lemon juice or white vinegar for each 1/8 tsp of cream of tartar. Be aware if you use vinegar, the play dough will have a vinegar smell!
  • If, after a couple weeks in a jar, you find your play dough is kind of sticky (gross), you can add a bit more flour and oil to give it a little more life.

Gluten Free Play Dough Recipe


Yes, this is a recipe that involves cooking, but it really is easy and quick.  If you’ve been missing out on play dough sensory play, GO!  Make some!


I’m collecting recipes for gluten free play dough and play clay to try out.  Do you have a gluten free play dough recipe you love?

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