Indyanna and I have been working on an all-natural, homemade, gluten-free, Paleo playdough recipe for months. We have had to toss at least 3 batches. And after lots of trial and error, we have finally come up with a recipe that we love! It is completely Paleo and works like legit playdough!
My 3 year old loves loves loves to play with playdough. I try to be flexible with our lifestyle. I am strict about her food at preschool, but I don’t want to limit her from taking part in her favorite activities with her friends. I know that you real food mamas understand how hard it can sometimes be to find this balance. At school, she plays with regular playdough. Although, I couldn’t help but cringe when I read what was actually in it…
“Play-Doh’s current manufacturer, Hasbro, reveals the compound is primarily a mixture of water, salt, and flour, while its 2004 United States patent indicates it is composed of water, a starch-based binder, a retrogradation inhibitor, salt, lubricant, surfactant, preservative, hardener, humectant, fragrance, and color. A petroleum additive gives the compound a smooth feel, and borax prevents mold from developing.” (source)
She has been asking for some playdough to play with at home too, so we decided that we would come up with our own all-natural version.
We love adding essential oils to our playdough. Indyanna loves how they smell. I usually opt for more relaxing blends whenever making anything for kids. 😉 … For this round we used, the following:
Lavender is soothing and great for relaxing and winding down.
Peace & Calming is a gentle, fragrant blend of Tangerine, Orange, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, and Blue Tansy essential oils with an aroma that’s comforting and calming. This one really works well for relaxing my little one.
GeneYus is a great one for helping young ones with focus and concentration.
I only use high-quality essential oils that are not only organic, but have also been distilled properly to preserve the therapeutic components of essential oils. Often essential oils are extracted using chemicals or high heat, compromising the benefit of the oils. Learn more about which essential oils I use HERE.
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Paleo Playdough Recipe
1 cup cassava flour (find it HERE)
1/2 cup arrowroot starch (find it here)
1/2 cup sea salt (find it here)
1 tablespoon cream of tartar (find it here)
1 teaspoon avocado oil (I use this brand)
1 cup hot water, but not boiling
More arrowroot starch for cutting board
Natural food coloring (I use this brand)
Essential Oils (find high-quality, organic essential oils here)
- Mix the cassava flour, arrowroot starch, sea salt and cream of tartar together in a medium pot.
- Next add the avocado oil, then the water, and continue to mix until thoroughly combined.
- Heat the pot on the stove over low heat for about 5-7 minutes. Stir the mixture frequently with a wooden spoon or a spatula.
- Add some more arrowroot starch to a wooden cutting board and set aside.
- When the dough starts to pull away from the sides easily, turn out the dough onto your cutting board and allow it to cool.
- Once cool enough to work with your hands, separate the dough into 3 different sections.
- Use your hands to shape each piece of dough into a ball. Mix in the arrowroot from your cutting board, if the dough is too sticky.
- To add the food coloring and essential oils, using your thumbs, make a well in the middle of the ball of dough and add about 1-2 teaspoons of food coloring and 3 or 4 drops of essential oils. Close up the well, then carefully begin kneading it until the color is evenly distributed throughout the dough. This is a process. Be patient. If the food coloring starts to make your dough sticky, add more arrowroot starch.
- Store in wide mouth mason jars or tightly sealed containers.
-Take care not to overcook the dough, it shouldn’t need more than 5-7 minutes.
-If needed, adjust the texture or your dough with small amounts of water (for dry, crumbly dough) or arrowroot starch (for sticky dough).
Can tapioca flour be substituted for the cassava flour?