All Natural Gingerbread Playdough
Let your kids ‘bake’ alongside you with All Natural Gingerbread Playdough — it looks, smells, and feels just like the real thing!
The days between Thanksgiving and Christmas go by in a blur for most adults. For kids, on the other hand, it can seem like an eternity, and the wait until ‘present time’ can be agonizing. One of the toughest challenges for parents of young children during the holidays is keeping them from spiraling out of control from all the constant commercial hype. It’s the perfect opportunity to channel some of that excess energy into a fun and creative project like this All Natural Gingerbread Playdough…who knows, it could kick off a lifelong passion for cooking.
This playdough is a feast for the senses — from the squooshy feel to the intoxicating holiday aroma. It looks and smells just like real gingerbread dough, but no worries, if your child is tempted to take a taste, this all natural formula won’t hurt them a bit.
Playdough is a very forgiving medium, there’s no right and wrong way to do it, so it’s ideal for little ones who are just getting the hang of eye-hand coordination. They can roll it and cut it out, or just squish it between their fingers, it’s all good. The scent will fascinate them, and if they’re at the imitation stage, they’ll be busy for hours copying your baking skills. Provide them with a hard surface, a rolling pin, some cookie cutters and an old baking sheet. Playdough is a generally mess free toy, but keep it away from upholstery and rugs.
For kids who are old enough, pull out your jar of stray buttons and beads so they can decorate their creations.
Store the dough in in an airtight baggie or plastic storage container when play time is over and it will last for several sessions. When it finally dries, just cook up another batch.
This is the easy recipe I’ve been making for years, but instead of tinting the dough with food coloring like I usually do, I went for a true gingerbread look and feel with lots of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and other warm holiday spices. The dough takes just minutes to make, but if you’ve never made it before you might be surprised to learn that it’s cooked in a saucepan. A little water and oil is added to the dry ingredients and it’s all cooked briefly, just until it comes away from the pan and forms a ball. A few seconds of kneading and it’s ready for play!
All Natural Gingerbread Playdough
- Put the dry ingredients in a medium saucepan and whisk to combine.
- Add the water and oil, and stir together.
- Cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball in the center, a silicone spoon works really well for this. It will look lumpy, but don't worry. If it seems too runny, you can add a bit more flour 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Turn the warm dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead it a few times until it is smooth and not sticky. Lightly flour your hands if necessary.
- Store the playdough in an airtight baggie or container.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
What a wonderful idea. I’m pinning this for my grandkids. They would go crazy over this!
I’ve always loved homemade playdough, Chris, it was one of our favorite toys when my kids were little, but this is the best version so far — that scent is unreal!
How cool! I am printing for my grandson who loves to be in the kitchen. Beautiful photos too!
Thanks Tricia — I hope your grandson enjoys it, it’s so nice that both boys AND girls are growing up kitchen savvy these days!
I just made this today and it smells SO GOOD! Very nice texture and so easy to make. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.
You’re welcome Charity — I’m so glad you liked it — now you can vary it throughout the year with seasonal colors, glitter, scents…the sky’s the limit 🙂
What I like most about this, Sue, is that the ingredients are all natural. If some makes it to a small mouth, it’s safe.
Could you bake this dough to make ornaments? Or leave cut-out shapes to air-dry? I think if you air-dried them, they might shrink unevenly and distort the shapes.
You could theoretically dry them and hang them, but this kind of dough isn’t very attractive for that purpose. I would go with a classic cinnamon or salt dough for ornaments, and you could add the spices to that dough as well for the gingerbread scent.
Such a great recipe – just made this for a gift for family and I can’t wait to give it to them. Thank you!
Hello please could you tell me how many children this recipe makes for? I love the idea and want to try it out for a group of children but unsure how much to make! Thanks
I would definitely try this recipe with my niece. She is a foodie and also loves to cook.
“All natural” – every picture full of plastic beads!! About as natural as Cindy Jackson. Not the message to give today’s children.
Very easy recipe and makes the whole house smell soooo good!! Of course, my 5 year old son used trucks and dinos but hey he was entertained.
This comes together so easily and the consistency is perfection! Made it for all of the neighbors kids this Christmas and they loved it!
Thanks for sharing! So glad it was a hit!