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Homemade Playdough without Salt

Homemade Playdough without Salt

This homemade playdough without salt is perfect for children with sensitive skin or eczema. My children have sensitive skin and one of them has eczema so we tend to use this when they are having a bit of a flare-up. This playdough is very soft and a lovely texture for children to play with, so it is also just a nice alternative if you don’t have time to make cooked playdough. I generally use fragrance-free lotion but if sensitive skin isn’t an issue, fragranced lotion makes for lovely multi-sensory playdough.  

Salt is used as a preservative in other homemade playdough so while this playdough is easier on sensitive skin, it won’t last as long.  To help it last longer, wrap it in saran wrap or beeswax cloth and keep it in the refrigerator while the kids aren’t playing with it. 

What you need

  • Lotion or emollient cream
  • Flour (Gluten-free flour optional)
  • Food colouring (optional)
  • Glitter, rolling pin, cookie cutters or other loose parts (optional)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Spatula or spoon (to scrape lotion out of measuring cup)

To make homemade playdough without salt, I use a ratio of 2 to 1. For every 1 cup of lotion, I use 2 cups of flour. Mix it together in a large mixing bowl. This can vary slightly from lotion to lotion so once you have mixed it and you find that it is gloopy or liquid, slowly add more flour a spoonful at a time. Alternatively, if it is too dry and cracks apart, slowly add in some more lotion. For people with gluten sensitivities or eczema that is exacerbated by gluten, use gluten-free flour.

Questions to ask

  • What did we use to measure it? How did it change when we added more lotion or flour?
  • How does it feel?
  • What are you making? Tell me about what you are doing/making…
  • How can you change the shape?
  • How many beans, jewels, etc. are there on that?

What they get from homemade playdough without salt

Playdough is a fantastic way to build children’s hand strength, manipulation skills and fine motors skills. Children can do “dough disco” where they practice rolling, patting, pinching, poking, squeezing, pulling, and squashing it. This is a fun way for children to build fine motor control and can also be a great intervention for children who need to build strength for writing.

For a more open-ended activity, children can be given a range of loose parts (e.g. googly eyes, sticks, beans, beads, gems, lolly sticks, etc.). They can use the playdough and loose parts to create anything from their imagination while also developing motor skills.

Take it further

As discussed above, children can use “dough disco” or loose parts with their playdough.

You may want to see some of my other playdough recipes including Pumpkin Spice Playdough RecipeCorn Flour Conditioner Playdough or Homemade Cloud Dough with Baby Oil. You may also want to see my other Playdough without Salt Recipe (coming soon) or Conditioner Playdough Recipe.

7 thoughts on “Homemade Playdough without Salt Leave a comment

  1. I want to try this in an activity but need something that will dry/harden. With this self-dry or can it be hardened by baking it? I wasn’t sure if the lotion changes that.

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