Christmas play dough recipe

This Christmas play dough recipe is inspired by the Christmas-flavoured sugar I make each year to go on our Christmas-movie-popcorn. The sugar smells exactly like Christmas, with a blend of herbs and spices that fills the house with a festive feeling and, as I often have play dough on my brain, I thought why not try it for a Christmas play dough recipe?

Super Christmas play dough recipe - smells like Christmas spices. Great for sensory play and fine motor skills activities

Christmas Day play dough recipe

Play dough is just fantastic – a super sensory play material that feels good, smells good, doesn’t make too much mess and my kids love it.

It’s great as a calm-down activity for giddy, festive kids, and put together with some Christmas cookie cutters it makes a lovely Christmas gift .

Here’s the recipe with the special blend of herbs and spices that smells exactly like Christmas.

Christmas play dough recipe

Start by filling your salt with all the Christmas flavour. Take one cup of salt and add:

1. the zest of an orange or two clementines

2. some vanilla pod

3. a good grating of nutmeg

4. three cloves

5. some ground cinnamon

6. a bay leaf

Christmas play dough recipe

Blitz this with a blender until everything is chopped, mixed and smelling wonderful.

Christmas play dough recipe

Add two cups of plain (all purpose) flour…

Christmas play dough recipe

two tablespoons of vegetable oil and two tablespoons of cream of tartar.

Christmas play dough recipe

Pour in one and a half cups of boiling water…

Christmas play dough recipe

and some food colouring. Red? Gold? Green? Then mix it and form it into a dough.

Christmas play dough recipe

Add some extra shine to the play dough recipe by pouring in a little glycerine.

Christmas play dough recipe

Add a good dash of glitter for some festive sparkle. Knead the dough for a few minutes and then you’re done.

Wrap the play dough in a plastic bag and it will last into the new year.

super sensory footerSuper Sensory Invitations to Play

Ready for a whole year of exploring through the senses? Super Sensory Invitations to Play is a delightful resource that encourages your children to explore the five senses through the year, using a wide variety of sensory materials. It includes 52 invitations to play, linked to the festivals and seasons of the year, and including water, ice, dough, rice, paints, sand, sensory tubs, and more.

They are easy, simple, and fun ideas that you can use right now to give a multi-sensory boost to your play and learning. It comes with a printable recipe book featuring all our favourite recipes for play. Come and see more here.


  1. says

    This seasonal play dough recipe is such a lovely idea! The holiday scents always bring back wonderful memories for me. This is a great way to create special new memories for kids! Thanks for sharing!

  2. says

    Hi, I was doing this receipe in a rush this morning and added all the spices but managed somehow to forget the salt. I now have a very sloppy dough. I don’t want to throw it away but Ive added lots more flour and after a short while of playing it’s back to putty? Do u know of anything I can do at this stage I rectify it? It does smell lovely though. Thank you.

    • says

      Oh no Paula! The only thing I can think of is to make another batch (so you have the boiling water agent going in), add in your sloppy dough and add in the salt you missed out first time. I don’t think you’re going to get your current dough to work without the salt, and adding it in at this stage won’t work as there’s no water to dissolve it.

  3. Lauren says

    I love this!! I’m planning on making this to put in the goody bags for my son’s Christmas party. Will this recipe be enough for 19 kids or should I double it? I’ll obviously be giving small portions. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Lauren. I think I would certainly double and maybe even triple it for 19 kids, depending on how generous the portions will be. Hope all the kids like it!

  4. Lorraine says

    Does the red food coloring bleed when mixing/playing with the dough?
    I would hate to have kids running around with stained hands.

    • says

      Hi Lorraine. No, ours never does. I think it’s important to mix the colour in with all the other ingredients in the bowl, so the colour binds with the dough and then doesn’t bleed. It’s when you leave the colour out and only add it in to the finished dough at the end that I think you might find it gets on hands.

  5. Sherrie Crandal says

    Oh my this sounds too good. Do the kids eat it? I love the natural sound of it. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Sam says

    I really cannot wait to make this for my class! I have 24 little ones and I know they will not be able to contain themselves over this! I know that I will have to triple the batch amount, however, how much salt should I start with initially? Thanks!!! Sam

    • says

      We get ours from the baking section of the supermarket Carly – but if you can’t find it, you can just leave it out and the dough will still be lovely, just not quite as shiny. Cathy

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