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Gluten-Free Play Dough Recipe

I just received a phone call from Sam’s new kindergarten teacher.  A very nice lady who has never heard of Celiac Disease.  As I explained CD to her and sited Play Doh as an example of cross-contamination, her only comment was, “I don’t know what I would do if I can’t have Play Doh in my classroom!”

It was like hearing screeching tires in my head, but I bit my lip since I did not want to start the year off on the wrong foot.

So, I offered to make gluten-free play dough for the entire class.  I found the following recipe on the Celiac Sprue Association website and made just one small tweak by adding unsweetened Koolaid for color and scent.

GF Play Dough
1/2 c. Rice Flour
1/2 c. Cornstarch
1/2 c. Salt
2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
1 c. Water
1 tsp. Canola Oil
Food Coloring

This play dough has an interesting aroma while it is still warm so I decided to add Koolaid (based on other recipes I have viewed on the web) to make scented play dough.

Unsweetened Koolaid Packets with flavors to match your play dough colors (ie: orange flavored Koolaid for orange colored play dough).

  • Mix ingredients.
  • Cook and stir on low heat for 3 minutes or until it forms a ball.
  • Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
The play dough you see above has been stored in an airtight container for 6 months now and is still moist and pliable!


  1. bobbi gregory says

    Just made some orange koolaid playdough using this recipe. Thanks for sharing it. Just need to find out if his therapy putty(like playdough but with specified resistance) is gf…so many things to consider!

  2. matp2530 says

    I love this recipe! My only issue is when I make it there tends to be a chalk-like residue that comes off on our hands when playing with it. Do you experience that as well? Anything you do to fix it?

  3. I am SO GLAD I have found your blog! I'm a pre-school teacher and this year I have a student with Celiacs. Last year I was spoiled and had NO students with any type of allergies. As soon as I got my health alerts I made a huge sign to put up in my classroom as a reminder. Then at open house the mother informed me that her child couldn't play with the playdoh I had out! I had no idea! It was store bought, so I asked her about home made playdoh because that is what I used most often. She said it had to be made with glueten free flour and offered to send some in just for her daughter. The more I've thought about this, I will probably just make glueten free playdoh for all of the students this year. (That way hers doesn't look any different either!) I've asked mom to send me in some more information about her daughter in particular regarding this, but I'm definitely going to book mark your blog!!

    • I just wanted to let you know how grateful and happy I am to hear that a teacher is happily dealing with celiac/allergy issues and taking an initiative.

    • Thank you for being sensitive, not only to providing safe play dough for this student, but also in not making hers separate and different causing her to stand out because of her condition. If only all teachers were like you!

  4. Thank you for this recipe. I found it via Pinterest. I just made it for home and for the two places my son goes for therapy. It came out lovely!