Gluten Free Play Dough!

Gluten Free Play Dough

Gluten Free Play Dough

Ohhh play dough. A childhood staple. It was always one of my favorite “toys” growing up, and Noah loved it when we introduced it a while ago. He loves to have mommy and daddy roll it into balls, and then he will smash it, and repeat. Roll, smash, roll, smash. This seriously goes on forever. So. Much. Fun. He somehow chooses to call all of the colors “yellow,” but hearing him say “pay dough” is about the cutest thing ever, so we always oblige. But, if you look carefully at the container, you will see “CONTAINS WHEAT”. Grrr. Seriously, WHY?!

Well, for several months, I made a serious mom fail. I continued to let my wheat-allergic son play with play dough. I think I was naive as to how the wheat would affect him.  I figured as long as Noah wasn’t eating the play dough (that alone was a dumb assumption for an 18 month old), that he would be fine. WRONG. After a while, David and I started noticing pretty severe eczema breakouts on Noah’s fingers. They would be covered in bumps and blisters. We couldn’t figure out for the longest time what could be triggering the breakouts. Then it kind of clicked. Play dough. Wheat. Ugh.

So, I was on a mission to make wheat-free play dough so we could continue our rolling, and smashing and I could continue to hear Noah say “pay dough!” Last Friday night we spent a half hour, and made the best play dough I’ve ever seen!! We are obsessed. David and I (and Noah!) played with it a ton this weekend, and we both agreed that it is so much nicer than the original, wheat variety. It may be a little bit oilier than normal play dough, but that seriously didn’t bother me – and more flour can be added to even it out a bit.

So, let me tell you how freaking easy this is. We will be making another batch soon to send to daycare so he can play with his friends, and not suffer from bubbling fingers. Poor kid.


1/2 C Rice Flour (we use Arrowhead Mills, because many other brands have warnings of manufacturing in facility with peanuts, etc.)
1/2 C Corn Starch
1/2 C Salt
2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
1 C water
1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp Oil – we used  Canola oil (vegetable oil usually uses some sort of soybean oil, which shocker, Noah’s allergic to) *

Food Coloring (optional)

*We used the full 2 TBSP for the first batch, and it was definitely oily. I would maybe cut back slightly and add more if needed.

gluten free play dough

  1. Mix together the flour and salt in a medium saucepan.

gluten free play dough

  1. Add in the remaining ingredients, and mix together, over low-medium heat

gluten free play dough

  1. Continue stirring for few minutes and the mixture will eventually start to thicken.
  1. Once the mixture starts to pull off the sides of the pan, remove it from the heat.

gluten free play dough

  1. Let the dough cool until you are comfortably able to handle (we let it set for roughly 5 minutes).
  1. Turn the dough out to a working surface (we just used a paper plate), and split the dough into equal size balls.
  1. Make slight indents into the balls with your thumb, and drop food coloring into the “pools.” Then, just start working it together to get the color all mixed up. NOTE: this will slightly discolor your hands, and I’d recommend doing it over the sink so the color doesn’t drip!
  1. Ta-da!! Wheat-free play dough!
  1. Have fun!

We stored the play dough in small Zip loc containers we had on hand. Any sort of air tight containers should work! Again, the dough is much oilier and than the traditional play dough, and definitely requires a good hand washing afterwards. But, the texture is great, and it works wonderfully. Seeing, living with allergies is possible. All about making substitutions and tweaks to keep life as normal and enjoyable as possible!!

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    1. Thank you!! We absolutely love the stuff and it works so well for my allergy prone kiddo! Thanks for having me at the Link Party! 🙂

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