If you're looking for an easy play dough recipe to make at home, we've found a great one below! Setting up crafting activities for children can cultivate creativity and a positive atmosphere allowing them to express themselves in a healthy way. 

This play dough is gluten-free, making it perfect for those with gluten/wheat allergies and intolerance. Kids are classic for tasting/eating this, and this famous Play-doh brand is not food safe. The company will not share its complete ingredient list (red flag?) but does list on its website that there is water, salt, and flour in the mix. 

Making sure our kid's craft supplies are safe and non-toxic is one more way we can help them have a healthy childhood. It doesn't hurt that it can give us a little peace of mind in this unpredictable world. 

This article will point you in the direction of:

  • Safe food coloring (and reasons to avoid artificial dyes)
  • Ways to play with play dough
  • Handy play dough storage containers

Safe Food Coloring

There’s a time and a place for monotone tans, but playful play dough is not usually one of them! The vibrant colors can help to accelerate little ones’ imaginations so they can create pieces and parts of animals, people, and anything their passion drives them to sculpt. 

But did you know that artificial food coloring can be toxic? Processed foods and drinks are quick to add in food dyes like Red #40, Blue #1, and Yellow #5 you might see on ingredient lists, and most commercial play dough is no exception. 

Most artificial food dyes are made in a lab from petroleum; a chemical used to make gasoline and kerosene. Consuming synthetic dyes is associated with promoting hyperactivity in children, and reviews show that several dyes are contaminated with carcinogens and can cause cancer. Yikes. 

Some food dyes even use insects. Yes, you read that right. You may remember when Starbucks caught heat for using insect dye in their Strawberries and Creme Frapp, so they started using a tomato-based extract called lycopene. There’s even documentation of these insect dyes causing immediate allergic reactions, but they remain commonly used in food, drinks, cosmetics, you name it. 

A safer option for your play dough (and food) is to choose natural food dyes made from plant-based properties like carotenoids, spirulina, and turmeric that have beneficial antioxidant properties. Thankfully, there are several on the market now. You can DIY food coloring, but if you’d like to buy them, here are a few options to try with your play dough!

Ways to Play With Play Dough

Storing Your Play Dough

Gluten-Free Play Dough Recipe

Gluten-free play dough recipe

This play dough recipe was adapted from Gluten Free Weekly! Do you have a favorite play dough recipe you’d like to share? Did you try this recipe and want to let us know how it went? Feel free to comment below! We’d love to hear from you!


October 21, 2022 — Cassi Donegan
Tags: Recipes

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