Homemade Playdough With Lemon

20171104_190450When Monkey was little I would reluctantly bring out the Playdough. I disliked the shop bought variety but at the time I didn’t know you could make it at home.

With the shop bought version I didn’t like the smell, the texture, the way it always dried up into tiny hard balls which were left dotted everywhere (they always seem to be found quite a distance from where we had been playing)!

However with the quick and easy access to the internet and after reading many blog posts and seeing the huge potential for fun, creativity and improving child development through play on Instagram I knew I had to try making my own.

I had read a lovely post from Olivia at Every Day Begins New not only had she used lots of beautiful natural items to make imprints and use to decorate Olivia had used a different ingredient to those normally listed for homemade playdough – vinegar! I didn’t like the thought of my house smelling like a chip shop and although she confirmed the smell wasn’t too strong she also suggested I substitute the vinegar for lemon juice instead which is certainly a far nicer smell to fill your home with! For the original post from Olivia please follow this link

With 5th November – Bonfire night upon us (sorry it’s taken me so long to write this up) I felt it was an ideal time to make the play dough and add sparkly pipe cleaners, small gem shapes and lots of shiny spangles and mini glittery pom poms to represent fireworks and bonfires.


The first play dough I made I was aiming to make black for a night sky effect however it turned out to be more grey than black and I had meant to add glitter to the mix but had forgotten!

The recipe I used was;

1 1/2 cups of flour

1/4 cup of salt

3tsp of lemon juice (either from a bottle or juiced from a real lemon both works)

3tbl of sunflour oil

Couple of drops of glycerine (optional to add some shine) – I got this idea from a different recipe I saw on Pinterest somewhere (sorry not sure who to credit this bit to)

Food colouring (optional)

1/2 cup of warm water (might need more/less)

Combine all the ingredients apart from the water and food colouring if using.

If using food colouring add a few drops to the water as it’s easier to get a consistent colour this way rather than adding it separately.

Add the water a little at a time until you get a soft dough consistency as noted in the ingredients you may need more or less water.

We had so much fun with this both children became fully immersed in this type of play that I hadn’t seen with many other activities we’d tried.

Following the succss of this I decided to make some more. Boo requested pink this time. I again used the above recipe however it took much longer to get a pink effect and the consistency wasn’t quite right I got there eventually but wondered whether anyone else had a similar issue using different colours (it was the same brand).

Both play dough colours were played with a lot mainly by Boo. We kept them on the dining room table in separate plastic food storage boxes. They kept well for about 3 weeks however we all came down with horrendous colds and no one wanted to play.  When I finally recovered I discovered the pink play dough was past it’s best and although the black/grey seemed ok I thought it may be best to start afresh.

The thought of a lemon smell filling my home while the children played with the lemon scented play dough didn’t quite reach my full expectations it was more of a faint smell of lemon but far nicer than the shop bought variety. Perhaps adding more may produce more of a fragrance.

Sadly Santa and his elves don’t appear to have the recipe and gave Boo some shop bought play dough when we visited him. Boo and I played with it and the colour rubbed off on both our hands and left marks on our dining room tablecloth and I also discovered the red shop bought version had been walked into the carpet in the hallway leaving a stain however the homemade version left no issues.

So Santa if you happen to be reading this can you and your elves maybe try the homemade recipe for next Christmas as it’s far nicer and I promise to be good…

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