Gluten Free Playdough

Gluten Free Playdough

Although Fairy’s problems with gluten are not as sever as others, it has made me more sensitive to the plight of those around us that have serious allergic reactions to gluten. Because of that, I dusted off my old 3" x 5" cards to see if I had a recipe for a gluten free playdough, and sure enough, I did! In all my years of teaching preschool I never had a child with a gluten allergy. It really makes me wonder whether it is more prevalent today or if we have just gotten better at diagnosing the problem. Whichever the case, I did want to include a gluten free playdough recipe on the site.

I played with 3 different flour substitutes, and I was happiest with the rice and almond flour playdoughs. Of course, if your child has tree nut allergies you will not want to use the almond flour. My final appraisal of the playdough… it makes up nice and feels wonderful working with it. I do believe it dries out a little faster than the wheat flour doughs, so make sure you cover them well when storing. Since I don’t know what the shelf life of them are, I plan to store mine in the fridge. FYI… the dough in the photos is made with almond floor.

Gluten Free Playdough

Makes 1 1/2 cups of playdough

1/2 cup rice or almond flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon cooking oil
food coloring (I used the neon food coloring)

Put all ingredients in a sauce pan EXCEPT for the food coloring and mix well. (You can add the food coloring now if you plan to make the whole batch the same color.)

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture pulls away from the sides and looks like moist mashed potatoes. Do not over cook or the playdough will be crumbly.

Divide into 3 parts. (1/2 cup each)

Make a well in the center of each and add 12 drops of food coloring.

Mix in well.

When cooled, store in air tight containers.
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  1. Thankfully we don’t have problems with gluten around here but I know it must be a terrible pain. I was surprised to find out how many things had gluten in it. Question. I’m making party favors for my niece’s 5th bday party. Where did you find your jars. They are so cute. Did you get them somewhere like Target or are they from something like garlic or yeast? Your playdough looks so pretty I want to play with it!

    1. I know, aren’t the jars cute? They come from Wylers Chicken Bouillon cubes. (Just noticed they have gluten too… go figure!) I have everyone I know save them for me. My shelves in my crafting room are lined with them.

  2. I like to use spices instead of food coloring. Cinnamon is my favorite.

  3. Sweet rice flour also works well in playdough. It is a lot cheaper than almond flour!

  4. Plain brown or white rice flour works great. In pinch recently I used spelt flour. It worked well, but it left a weird white film that seemed to add to the project.
    The colors are amazing! Make sure even the food coloring is gluten free. Yup! The alcohol in the coloring (and flavorings) are grained based.
    Bless Bless

  5. I tried this recipe recently and it came out great. My only issue is when we play with the dough it leaves a residue on our hands, almost a chalky feel. Does this happen with yours too??

    1. I often feel like that with all the homemade playdoughs. Not sure if it is the flours or the salt. I'm also happy with how well it has last. It seems to have a longer shell life than the gluten alternative.

    2. Instead of food coloring substitute it for a package of koolaid. Your playdough will be both colored and smell really good. The kids will love it!

  6. My daughters best friend has glutton allergys but she also has a corn allergy. Any ideas on a what could replace corn starch?

  7. For coloring, we can just make vegetable or fruit derived colors at home: they’re the safest ! And then store playdough in the refrigerator

    1. Kimara

      We’ve been playing with those more for all sorts of different projects from coloring eggs to dying yarn and roving. Thanks for sharing this idea with our readers. 🙂 ~Kimara~

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