Natural Gluten Free Play Dough

child making Natural Gluten Free Play Dough into shapes using a cookie cutter

No matter how hard we try, our kids put play dough in their mouths at least once (if not all the time – it’s salty!) when they’re playing with it. Standard doughs contain wheat flour, which can make some kids extremely sick, even with the tiniest amount. For those with celiac, even contact with the dough can cause serious side effects. This is a great natural gluten free play dough alternative to use!

I created this Natural Gluten Free Play Dough so you can still have craft time with your kids at home, regardless of your allergies. Play dough is so great for the imagination plus fine motor skill development. Plus it's just a classic American pastime!

This play dough uses some ingredients I don’t typically cook with since paleo flours are a lot more expensive, but it’s gluten-free so it’s safe for your littles to play with and a fun activity to do together in the kitchen! I included a grain-free version for you too, just incase, but I will say it's a little more sticky than the other version.

We used India Tree natural dyes for the coloring, but you could have some fun with these homemade veggie/fruit dyes as well if you want! Just leave out the vinegar. I know a lot of people that put essential oils into their homemade play dough too to make it smell nice!

To my surprise, this dough actually stayed fresh in a glass tupperware for over a year! If your kids accidentally leave it out and it dries out a little, you can lightly wet your hands with warm water and knead the tough to revive it, or add a tiny bit of coconut oil.

Natural Gluten Free Play Dough


SERVES: 1 mound

Cuisine: Vegan

Category: Babies and Kids

PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOK TIME: 8 mins TOTAL TIME: 18 mins


Grain-Free Version


  1. Combine all ingredients except the food coloring, in a deep skillet.
  2. Turn the burner to low and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the dough comes together.
  3. Turn off the heat and transfer the dough to a piece of parchment paper.
  4. Let it cool for 5-7 minutes, until just cool enough to handle.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 parts and drop a few drops (about 5-7 depending on how vibrant you want it) of food coloring onto each piece.
  6. Knead the dough until the color is fully incorporated.

Tip : kneading the color into the dough is a little bit of a workout. If you only want 1 color, it’s easier to add the coloring with the water before you cook the dough.


Grain-Free Version

  1. Combine all ingredients in a deep skillet, including the color you wish to use.
  2. Turn the burner to medium and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pot as solid mass forms.
  3. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly until the dough starts to come together.
  4. Turn off the heat and turn the dough onto a piece of parchment paper on the counter.
  5. Let the dough cool long enough to handle safely.

We found it difficult to knead the color into this dough. It almost rejects it. If you add it with the water and other ingredients before cooking, it is a lot easier. Again – this dough has quite a different texture than your standard play doh or my other recipe above. 

Keywords: dairy free, children, play dough, play-doh, play time, paleo, gluten free, egg free, dairy free, vegan, nut free, scd