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Easy Homemade Gluten-Free Play Dough

Play dough is a tricky thing for the celiac family. What kid doesn’t love play dough?
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What parent doesn’t love the way it can occupy bored kids for sometimes hours on end? The thing is, most play doughs (the commercially available Play-Doh as well as homemade “doughs”) are made from flour. This can be problematic for kids with celiac disease. First of all, there’s the temptation to taste it. Which is obviously a big no no when it comes to kids with celiac disease. But even just touching wheat-based playdough can cause a skin reaction in some celiacs (not my son, fortunately).

I will own up to allowing my son to play with playdough–he knows that he’s not supposed to taste it, and that he’s supposed to wash his hands as soon as he’s done playing with it. I have also communicated this to his preschool teachers, as they do occasionally play with play dough in class. Even so, I was happy to find a gluten-free play dough recipe in the most recent issue of Highlights High Five magazine. My boys and I enjoyed making it together to kick off the long holiday weekend.

Cinnamon Play Dough (recipe courtesy Highlights High Five, June 2010)


  • 2 cups baking soda (Yes. This is a lot of baking soda. Good thing my husband bought the Costco-sized bag on a whim.)
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1.5 cups water


1.Mix dry ingredients together in medium sauce pan.

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2.Add water. Stir together.

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3.Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat. After several minutes the mixture will thicken. Remove from heat when water is absorbed and dough begins to stick together.

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4.Let cool, then play!

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You can store the dough in a zipper bag when not in use.

My sons really enjoyed making and playing with this sweetly scented play dough. While a little stickier than regular Play-Doh, it was easy to work with and cleaned up well. And of course, there is great peace of mind knowing that this play dough is completely gluten-free and safe for my son to play with.


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