Let all the kiddos join in on the fun with this homemade gluten-free playdough recipe! It is safe for children with Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivities to play without fear of ingestion, which could make them ill. The recipe was adapted from a beloved pre-school teacher who makes the best playdough!
Benefits of playdough.
Playdough is an important learning material for children. It encourages imagination and sharing, it stimulates hand-eye coordination, it's therapeutic, and it strengthens tiny muscles! The only problem is, it contains wheat, which for some kids could be a real health concern.
Why do I need gluten-free playdough?
If a young child has Celiac Disease or is intolerant to gluten, you may not want them to play with standard playdough. Whether intentional or not, it is very easy for playdough to end up in a child's mouth!
Making your own gluten-free playdough alleviates any concern that may arise from allowing gluten-sensitive kids to play with playdough. No more hovering or worrying about frequent hand washing!
As the only one in my house with Celiac, I personally don't feel comfortable having regular playdough in the house. Having gluten all over my tables makes me uneasy, even though I know I can keep it under control!
I don't really like to touch or play with regular playdough, so the kids end up playing alone. If I make gluten-free playdough, I can feel more comfortable to sit down and play with them, making their experience even more fun!
Is gluten-free playdough like regular playdough?
This gluten-free playdough recipe is great! It's soft and pliable and acts just like regular playdough! This recipe was adapted from a recipe I received from my daughter's beloved preschool teacher. Her tried and tested recipe makes THE BEST playdough, much better than store-bought! Having played with both, I can attest that this gluten-free version looks and feels very similar to her recipe!
How long does it last?
This gluten-free playdough can be kept for up to 6 months if kept in an airtight container. If it ever shows signs of mold, smells funky, or dries out, promptly discard and make a fresh batch!
What's in it?
The ingredients are very easy to find at any local grocery store. You may even have everything you need already in your pantry!
- White rice flour
- Corn starch
- Table salt
- Cream of tartar
- Coconut or canola oil
- Gel food coloring
- Don't use an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend. Plain white rice flour is best. If you use a blend that has xanthan gum in it, the texture will be very gummy and not much like playdough. It feels more like trying to play with rubber!
- Don't skip the cream of tartar. The dough I made without it was very sticky!
- Don't overdo the gel food coloring. Only 1-2 drops are all you need! Unless you want really dark colors, then add 1-2 drops more.
How to make gluten-free playdough:
Making playdough is as easy as mixing the ingredients together and then cooking over low heat until the dough comes forms a ball. Then you'll just let it cool and knead it until smooth.
The dough can be played with as soon as it is cool enough to handle but I have found the texture gets even better after the dough rests overnight. This gives the rice flour time to fully hydrate.
There you have it! Gluten-free play dough for that special kid in your life. Don't let gluten cause your child to miss out on the wonderful benefits that come from playing with playdough!
- ½ cup white rice flour
- ½ cup corn starch
- ¼ cup table salt
- 2 Tablespoons cream of tartar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon oil, coconut or canola
- 1-2 drops gel food coloring
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in the saucepan.
- Add the oil and food coloring to the water and stir.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the saucepan and whisk to combine.
- Over medium heat, stir constantly with a rubber spatula until all the liquid has absorbed and a ball of dough appears. About 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and place dough on a piece of parchment paper to cool.
- When cool enough to handle, knead the dough until smooth.
- Store in an airtight container.
Want to learn more about the gluten-free life? Check out all of my gluten-free resources!