Gluten Free, Allergen-Free Play Dough

(adapted from: Kid Concoctions, Creations & Contraptions)

yield: approximately 1 and 1/2 cups of dough


1 cup Water

1/4 cup Sea Salt

1 Tbs. Oil (any safe oil will do)

1 Tbs. Powdered Alum (I buy mine in bulk from The American Spice Company, it is MUCH less expensive than the grocery store)

1 cup White Rice Flour

Food Coloring (Natural Dyes work fine, they are just a bit too pastel for my boys liking, be sure to check the ingredients for allergens).

Assorted Scents (optional), but here are a list of suggestions: Assorted Pure Extracts (such as Anise, Lemon, Mint, Vanilla, etc.), Pure Essential Oils, Unsweetened Flavored Drink Packets, Cocoa Powder, Ground Spices, like Cinnamon (I use Pure Essential Oils because the scent is much stronger).  

Guideline for the scents:

Cocoa Powder (and Ground Spices): stir 1/4 cup pure cocoa powder into the hot water, increase oil to 2 Tbs.

Essential Oils: stir 10 - 20 drops of essential oil into the hot water.

Extracts: stir 1 Tbs. of Extract into the hot water.

Unsweetened Flavored Drink Packets (like KoolAid): stir the contents of one packet into the hot water.


  • Stir water, salt, and choice of scent (see list above) in a saucepan over medium heat (I have a cheap, non-stick saucepan that I keep strictly for arts and crafts).
  • When mixture comes to a boil, remove pan from heat.
  • Using a wooden spoon, stir in oil, alum, food coloring. Slowly add rice flour, stir vigorously until mixture begins to form a ball (it helps to use floured hands once the mixture starts to come together, just be careful, it's very hot!).
  • Once the ball is cool enough to handle, roll it onto a flat surface and knead until smooth.
  • Store in an airtight container or a Ziploc storage bag (I use the Quart size bags).
  • The dough keeps very well for a 2 - 3 months (or longer, depending on boys have a knack for smooshing all the colors together!).