Fall play dough recipes: clove, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg

Here are some favourite fall play dough recipes, featuring autumn colours and lovely warming spices. They’re so wonderful to play with, giving your children a sensory boost on colder autumn days.

fall play dough recipe

Fall play dough recipes

One of the best things about using homemade play dough is being able to add in extra sensory elements, such as colours and scent. These play dough recipes feature autumn shades and lovely spices, that fit the season perfectly.

If you’ve never made your own play dough before, give it a try. It’s quick and easy and you can make a generous amount, giving your children abundant materials to play and create with. And if you wrap it up well in a plastic bag after you’ve finished playing, it can last you right through until you’re ready to make some homemade Christmas play dough instead!

fall play dough

To make my favourite homemade play dough recipe you’ll need to mix, in a large bowl:

2 cups of plain (all purpose) flour

1 cup of salt

2 tablespoons of cream of tartar

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Then give your play dough an autumnal twist by adding in some spices. I made four bowls of the play dough mix and added a different spice to each: grated cloves, ground ginger, ground cinnamon and grated nutmeg.

autumn play dough recipe

Then you need to add in some liquid to bring your dough together. For a basic play dough recipe you’d add 1 and half cups of just-boiled water. To add some seasonal colour, I replaced some of this water with a good squirt of paint.

fall play dough activities

I most often use food colouring when I make playdough, but the paint gives a great colour boost to your dough. I used a washable-, ready-made poster paint (tempera) and it gave a really even colour throughout the dough and didn’t come off on our hands when we played with it.

homemade play dough autumn

Stir your ingredients together in the bowl to form a dough, then tip it out and give it a good knead for a few minutes – and then you’re ready to play!

fall play dough activities

Fall play dough activities

And how will you play with your fall play dough? My e-book The Homemade Play Dough Recipe Book has lots of ideas for you. It contains ideas for math, literacy, imaginary play, art, and sensory play for all year round. For autumn there are ideas for gingerbread men, leaf printing, autumn trees, rangoli and salt dough candle holders. Come and take a peek at more of the ideas inside the book and download your own copy. 

play dough recipe


  1. Brandee says

    How much of each spice did you use in the bowls? And is each bowl the full batch from your recipe?

  2. says

    Have just made these and the coloured pasta leaves on another of your posts. My son loves them and I’m sure they will go down really well at my play group too. Thank you x

  3. Anne Mette Møller says

    It is so much better making your own play dough instead of buying that horrible stuff you can buy at stores. I usually add some food colour – it also gives nice colours.

  4. MrsTPreschool says

    I love this idea but my 3 year old preschool disabled class love to try to eat the play dough. I’m afraid this would make it even more enticing! Any ideas on this?

    • says

      Hi MrsTPreschool. What do you do for sensory play usually? Do you offer things the children can eat (like masked potatoes perhaps?) Have they used play dough before? The taste is extremely salty, and I would always supervise the play and model ways to play and not eat it. You’ll know your children, of course, so if you think play dough is suitable but you don’t want to use spices, you can simply leave them out. Or can I help you find other ideas for sensory play that might be more suitable? Let me know a bit more about your children, and we can perhaps work out some ideas together?

  5. Kimberly says

    Do you happen to have a printable version of the recipe? I just don’t want to print out all the pictures too! Thanks! Love the recipe!

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