A Modern Day Fairy Tale: DIY Gluten Free Aromatherapy Play Dough

Thursday, May 21, 2015

DIY Gluten Free Aromatherapy Play Dough

What kid doesn't love Playdoh? I know my oldest son certainly did! I knew my daughter would be a huge fan as well. There was just one little problem- Playdoh contains gluten! My daughter is gluten free due to worsening eczema, so we did not want to take any chances with Playdoh, so I set out to find a GF play dough recipe that would work for us.

The good news is there are many great recipes out there. The bad news is that many require expensive gluten free flours. Thankfully I found a super simple cornstarch play dough that is gluten free and inexpensive. And to make it even more of a sensory experience, I decided to make it an aromatherapy dough!

Want to create your own? Here's what you'll do:


  • 1 Cup Cornstarch
  • 1 lb Baking Soda
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/8 tsp Oil (I used grapeseed, but olive or whatever you have on hand will work!)
  • Food Coloring (optional)
  • Essential Oil of Choice (optional)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot.
  2. Cook over medium heat until it becomes mealy. Stir constantly to avoid sticking/burning.
  3. Remove from heat, cover with damp cloth and let cool. (You may notice that parts will begin losing the color, don't worry, it will come back as it's kneaded and played with.)
  4. Knead well.
  5. Store in airtight container when not in use.


  • If your child has a tendency to eat the play dough, I would refrain from adding the essential oils. There are many great options for oils to try, but I love calming oils like Lavender, Vetiver, Sandalwood or a child safe calming blend. A little bit goes along way. Check out this site for more information on safe oil usage!
  • This is not as firm as typical store bought Playdoh. It gets crumbly and very messy! It cleans up easily, but be sure not to play on the carpet! If you have an outdoor table, this would be ideal for outdoor play as well.
  • Warning: May color hands! We added A LOT of food coloring for the more vibrant shade and found our hands ended up tinted after as well. It's a good idea to wear older clothes just in case!!

While I originally opted to make this for my gluten sensitive daughter, I have found it to be just as wonderful for my sensory seeking son with autism. A perfect all around sensory experience! For even more sensory fun, pick up some little plastic animals or other fun toys to hide in the dough and let them explore!!


  1. This looks like a fun activity. I can't wait until our daughter gets to this stage. :)

  2. Nice tutorial, I think we'll try this soon!

  3. Oh this is too fun!! I am definitely trying this with some peace and calming oil ;)

  4. This sounds like so much fun! I definitely wouldn't put the essential oils in it though because my daughter would put it in her mouth!!

  5. this is so cool, and kids obviously love it, and so inexpensive!!

  6. this is so cool, and kids obviously love it, and so inexpensive!!

  7. this is so cool, and kids obviously love it, and so inexpensive!!

  8. This is so nice--I will have to try making some with my son.

  9. What a fun idea! I love making things from scratch, it's cheap and customizable!


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