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Gluten Free Non-Toxic Play Dough

This gluten free play dough recipe is non-toxic and can provide hours of fun for the food sensitive child.

Does you child have food allergies, or like to play with kids who have food allergies? This homemade, gluten free play dough recipe can be made with your kids, and unlike the commercial brands, it is also chemical free for the safety and enjoyment of all children.

As an added bonus, making your own play dough costs a lot less than the name-brand, chemical-filled stuff—with no packaging and manufacturing pollution!

Gluten Free Non-Toxic Play Dough

This gluten free play dough recipe is non-toxic and can provide hours of fun for the food sensitive child.


  • 1 cup of rice, millet or other fine flour (coconut and nut flours don't work well for this)
  • 1/4 cup of salt (makes the dough unpalatable)
  • 1 tsp. Cream of Tartar
  • 1 Tbsp. sunflower or almond oil
  • 1 cup water
  • A few drops of natural food coloring, though you could easily make your own colors from turmeric, beet juice, berries and more.
  • A few drops of a calming essential oil, like lavender (optional)


  1. Mix the flour, salt and Cream of Tartar in a saucepan.
  2. Add the oil and stir.
  3. Mix the water and food coloring, if using, then gradually blend into the mixture. You will need to use more natural coloring than you would with chemical food dyes.
  4. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until mixture is stiff and leaves the sides of the pan clean.
  5. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then knead gently on a work surface until smooth.
  6. Store in an airtight container.
  7. Play!
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About the author

Dawn Gifford

Dawn is the creator of Small Footprint Family, and the author of the critically acclaimed Sustainability Starts at Home - How to Save Money While Saving the Planet. After a 20-year career in green building and environmental sustainability, chronic illness forced her to shift her expertise and passion from the public sphere to home and hearth. Get the whole story behind SFF here.


Click here to comment. (Please note our comment policy. Comments close after 30 days.)

  • thanks for the play-dough recipe. Now its getting too sticky to handle – any suggestions? I tried adding more rice flour, it made it more sticky. I tried leaving container open overnight I helped a little
    Thanks and I hope you will have an answer!!

  • Thanks for posting these very helpful articles on children’s art materials– as an art therapist, this is very relevant news to those of us who use media with children. My work has been with traumatized children who have special challenges; we need to pay more attention to what you are offering in these postings!

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