How to Make Pumpkin Pie Play Dough
This summer, while I was filing away schoolwork that we completed last year, I came across a cherished recipe that I’d been searching for. I discovered this recipe for pumpkin pie play dough several years ago when my son was in kindergarten. It was the first time that I tried making homemade play dough, and I thought it would be a fun autumn project. My daughter can entertain herself for hours with some nice, soft dough to mold. It’s a fun, creative sensory activity for her to engage in when she has a break from schoolwork while I’m teaching her brother. We kept it in two quart-size yogurt containers, and it stayed soft for months.
The best part of this recipe, though, is the smell. The pumpkin pie spice gives it a delicious aroma, much better than your typical store-bought play dough. It will put you in the mood for some real pumpkin pie.
This recipe makes a large amount – enough for three to four children to play with. If you do not need that much, you can cut it in half.
- 5-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 4 cups of water
- 2 cups of salt
- 8 tsp of cream of tartar
- ¾ cup of coconut oil
- 1 container of pumpkin pie spice:
- 4 tsp of ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp of ginger
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp allspice
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- Pumpkin color:
- 17 drops of yellow food color
- 6 drops of red food color
- Put the flour in a large bowl.
- Add the salt, cream of tartar, and spices to bowl and stir.
- Put the coconut oil and water in a large pot. Cook until the oil melts. Add food color and gently stir until it comes to a boil.
- Add dry ingredients to the pot.
- Cook over medium heat and stir to prevent lumps.
- Once it comes together in a lump, turn off the heat and empty on to lightly floured wax paper.
- Cool slightly and then knead until it reaches the right consistency.
A note about color:
You can make this without adding food color. In that case, you will end up with a dough the color of a pumpkin spice latte. If you do add color, there are a few ways to do it. I’ve included the easiest way in the directions. Our batch ended up the color of pumpkin pie filling. If you want a bright orange like the outside of a pumpkin, you can get a more vibrant shade by using gel food color or even breaking up some old crayons and melting them in the pot with the water and oil. Our family does not eat food with artificial colors, so my children are used to recipes made with natural, more muted colors. If this is something you are concerned about, you can add some plant-based dye to your pot instead or even have your children knead it into the cooled dough. For a project like this, I don’t mind adding some regular dye, though, since they aren’t going to eat it.
Some other tips that I’ve read to preserve the moistness of the dough is to let it cool in a sealed sandwich bag before kneading or to keep the finished dough in the refrigerator.
I hope you enjoy making pumpkin pie play dough with your children this autumn. My daughter is definitely having fun with her new batch!
Heather Eberlin is a married mother of four children, ranging in age from seven to twenty-six. She is currently homeschooling her two youngest children and has felt called to share her journey in order to encourage others. She is an amateur gardener who is amazed at the things that God’s creation reveals when you take the time to pay attention to it. You can follow her at Musings from My Garden or download her free Homeschool Organizational Forms here.