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Best Smelling Play Dough Recipe

Best smelling play dough recipe

As you can tell from previous posts, we love making play-dough in our household. It’s such a simple medium that ends up being so rich experientially. I could probably write an entire post just on the many educational aspects of play dough… Instead, I’ll just say, I particularly like this recipe because it’s vibrant, smooth, and smells great meaning it is ‘extra-sensory’ sensory play. The recipe is a derivative of one from Modern Parents, Messy Kids which you can also find on my Rain Days, Runny Noses post.


2 cups of all-purpose flour (I buy mine for crafts from the bulk section at our grocery store as it is the cheapest I can find)
2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup cream of tartar
1/4 cup salt
2 tbs. vegetable oil
1 3 oz. pkg of Jell-o mix (I use no name/ house brands and buy when they are 4 for $5) OR kool aid mix
Food colouring to match Jell-O, the colour we chose was inspired by a certain movie with a snow queen and her sister 😛


Put water in a small sauce pan to boil. In a medium to large sauce pan, combine all other ingredients. Move large sauce pan to stovetop and set it to medium heat. Fold in water using a wooden spoon and continue to fold until well combined. Use as much food colouring to reach desired colour.

The reason this quantity is larger than average is, I have two toddlers who both want to partake in the fun. This quantity means they both get a good amount to play with 🙂


If you happen to have little helpers making this with you, or if your kids find your food colouring when you’re not looking (pictured below), you need this hack. Put any shaving cream on the dyed spot, or entirely covered toddler, let it sit, rinse off!

Extension activities

There are countless things you can do with play dough without buying play dough kits from a toy store. Here are some of our latest favourites.

Make a bird/ play with feathers

This is great for hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
What we use: feathers, googlie eyes, wooden coloured shapes (in total, these costs less than $5 from the dollar store). We make birds, or I just let the kids fill their serving of play dough with the feathers.


Mr. Play-Dough Head

I got this idea when I wanted to bring some toys on vacation, but not a lot. Bringing both play dough and some Mr. Potato Head pieces had my kids thrilled the first time and every time I decide to pull this combo out.


Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do time and time again!

xo Alana


  1. So great! We made although once and I didn’t love how it turned out so I’ll have to give this one a try for sure. These are great ideas! And as always, voted ?

    1. Haha. It took me more than one read to notice the mistake. Although 😛 it is a great recipe and it smells good too!

  2. Awesome love the blue face. It’s going to be a cold weekend here in Florida, so this will be on the activity list. Thanks for sharing.

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