Homemade Scented Playdough Recipe

Making homemade scented playdough is a fun activity that will pack warm cozy scents of the holidays or season into a can. With only a few ingredients from around the house, you can make this no-cook homemade playdough and start playing with it right away.

homemade scented playdough
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. See my disclosure policy to read more.  Adult supervision is required for each step of activities, recipes, crafts, and games with children. Small parts are a choking hazard

Homemade Scented Playdough Recipe

I love fun crafts and activities like this one. I always love a craft that doubles as an activity to keep them busy having fun like tie-dying flowers, making bath-bombs, and making a pool noodle pom-pom launcher.

Homemade Scented Playdough is a great way to spend quality time around the table. This is the best playdough recipe. I think you’ll find it’s easy, fun, and does a better job than the play dough from the store.

What You’ll Love About this Playdough Recipe

  • It is simple to make with only a few ingredients
  • Kids can join in making this fun-scented playdough.
  • Homemade playdough can be stored for months so the kids can play with it time and time again
  • This is a great rainy day activity to make with the kiddos that will keep them entertained

Ingredients for Basic Homemade Playdough Recipe

ingredients for homemade playdough

3-4 cups of flour – all-purpose flour
1 Cup of salt – regular table salt is used in this recipe
1 Tbsp. of Cream of Tartar – cream of tartar will add fluff and help preserve the batter
2 tablespoons of baby oil – baby oil will aid in preserving the playdough and produce more vivid colors. You can substitute vegetable oil, or olive oil in this recipe.
1.5 Cups of Warm Tap Water – the water does not need to be hot water. It only needs to be warm enough to dissolve the salt

Food coloring – gel food coloring is preferred, but I’ve used liquid drops too

How to Make Homemade Playdough

In a large bowl, mix only 3 cups of flour with the salt and the cream of tartar.

making homemade playdough


In a separate bowl, mix the oil and warm water

making homemade playdough


Pour the water mixture into the dry ingredients.
When it has cooled enough to be able to touch the dough, start kneading the dough.
If the play-dough is sticky, gradually add the 4th cup of flour little by little –   It should have the consistency of bread dough.
Roll the dough out into a large rectangle and divide it into four sections

making homemade playdough


Roll those sections into balls

Adding Color and Scents

To Add scents and color, make a well in each playdough ball by pushing your thumb down in the center of the playdough ball to make a depression

Add the color and spices to the well

making scented playdough

Knead the color and the scent by working it with your hands. A great way to do this and avoid getting color all over the counter is to place the dough in a large zip-tight bag. Squeeze and knead the dough while it is inside the bag to mix the colors.

homemade playdough

Scents to Add-In to your homemade DIY playdough recipe

Note: As with anything else, always check for any type of skin irritant or reaction when kids are playing with something that has added oils, extracts, spices, and more. Discontinue use is kids have a bad reaction
homemade playdough

Cinnamon Scented Play Dough

There are a few ways to make cinnamon-scented playdough

  • One way is to use cinnamon tea as a substitute for warm water.
  • Another way to make cinnamon-scented playdough is to add two teaspoons of cinnamon to the dry ingredients – More if you want
  • Finally, you can add one teaspoon of cinnamon extract. This will produce the most intense cinnamon-scented playdough.

Pumpkin Spice Playdough

Add 1 tsp. each of:

  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • allspice
  • nutmeg
  • pumpkin pie spice

I added an extra teaspoon of nutmeg and ginger to get a wonderful pumpkin pie aroma

pumpkin scented playdough

Orange Spice Playdough:

Make the above Basic Play Dough Recipe – the one at the tippy top
Color your playdough orange
with food coloring, unless you want another color. I just thought orange would fit the orange smell.
Gather some spices and extracts: I used –

  • 1&1/4 tsp. Orange Extract
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon Extract
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground clove spice

Chocolate Scented Play Dough:

  • 1/2 Cup of hot chocolate powder or powdered chocolate for chocolate milk (Nesquick works great)

Note: The cocoa will color the playdough for you. This will be a chocolate brown color.

Apple Scented Playdough

Color the playdough red and add 2-3 Tbsp. of apple cider spices

Christmas Scented Playdough

Use cinnamon extract to make cinnamon-scented dough

Use peppermint extract for a candy cane scent

Use pine needle oil for Christmas tree-scented playdough

Christmas scented playdough

Playing with Homemade Playdough

Use cookie cutters, rolling pins, and lots of creativity to play with your new playdough

cookie cutter with homemade playdough

Expert Tips

Grated rinds of lemons, oranges, and limes always add intense aroma.

Always check on your kids for any skin reaction to add-ins like spices, extracts, oil, or other add-ins. Discontinue use if they have any kind of skin reaction

Adjust these spices to your nose’s personal preference. The true aroma won’t come through until the dough has been sealed for a bit. It gets strong in a container.

Other Fun Add-Ins and Tips for Homemade Playdough

  • Add glitter for some sparkling fun
  • Don’t add the color until the dough is in a zip-lock bag. Let the air out of the bag, and let the kids knead the color into the dough, either by putting their hands inside the bag or pressing on the bag from the outside. At first, it has a fun marble look to it.
  • Use any extract scent to make your own original holiday scent.  Almond would be so nice for an almond sugar cookie smell

Storing Homemade Playdough

Easily store playdough in ziptight bags or in an airtight container at room temperature

Homemade playdough will last for months if stored properly.

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    Printable Instructions for Homemade Playdough

    homemade playdough
    Print
    5 from 1 vote

    How to Make Homemade Playdough – Scented

    Easy to make no-cook homemade playdouhg
    Prep Time5 minutes
    Active Time15 minutes
    Total Time20 minutes
    Yield: 4 colors
    Author: Melissa Haines
    Cost: $5

    Equipment

    • mixing bowls

    Materials

    • 3-4 cups flour all-purpose
    • 1 cup salt
    • 1 tbsp. cream of tartar
    • 2 tbsp. baby oil you can substitute vegetable oil
    • 1.5 cups warm tap water hot enough to dissolve the salt
    • 3 drops Food coloring (Gel is preferred) Add more for a darker color. Use any color that you think represents the scent you choose for your playdough

    Scent Ideas

    • for cinnamon 1 tsp. of cinnamon extract, 2 tsp. of ground cinnamon, or use cinnamon tea in place of warm water
    • for pumpkin spice 1 tsp. each of, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice. Add extra ginger and nutmeg for a stronger scent.
    • for orange scented playdough 1&1/4 tsp. Orange extract, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon extract, 1/4 tsp. ground clove spice
    • for chocolate 1/2 cup of hot chocolate powder or powdered chocolate drink mix
    • for apple spice 2-3 tbsp. apple cider spices
    • coconut 1 tsp. of coconut extract
    • lemon 1 tps. of lemon essential oils or extract

    Instructions

    • In a large bowl, mix only 3 cups of flour with the salt and the cream of tartar.
    • In a separate bowl, mix the oil and warm water
    • Pour the water mixture into the dry ingredients.
    • When it has cooled enough to be able to touch the dough, start kneading the dough.
    • If the play-dough is sticky, gradually add the 4th cup of flour little by little –   It should have the consistency of bread dough.
    • Roll the dough out into a large rectangle and divide it into four sections
    • Roll those sections into balls

    Adding scents and colorant

    • To Add scents and color, make a well in each playdough ball by pushing your thumb down in the center of the playdough ball to make a depression
    • Add the color and spices, or extracts to the well
    • Knead the color and the scent by working it with your hands. A great way to do this and avoid getting color all over the counter is to place the dough in a large zip-tight bag. Squeeze and knead the dough while it is inside the bag to mix the colors.

    Notes

    Adjust these spices to your nose’s personal preference. The true aroma won’t come through until the dough has been sealed for a bit. It gets strong in a container.
     
    Note: As with anything else, always check for any type of skin irritant or reaction when kids are playing with something that has added oils, extracts, spices, and more. Discontinue use is kids have a bad reaction
    This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. See my disclosure policy to read more. Adult supervision is required for each step of activities, recipes, crafts, and games with children. Small parts are a choking hazard. Sharp objects can cause injury.

    ~Melissa
    KidFriendlyThingsToDo.Com – Providing kid-friendly recipes, ideas, and crafts for you and your kids

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