Play dough is always a hit with the kids and there are so many benefits to it but we also want to make sure we are using non-toxic play dough, especially if your child has a habit of eating some!
There are many brands out there that make non-toxic play dough or you can make your own. It’s easy and cheap and you are in control of the ingredients you use!
Why is it important to use non-toxic play dough?
It’s important to use non-toxic play dough because commercial play dough contains toxic chemicals that can be harmful if ingested. Ingesting even small amounts of these chemicals can cause gastrointestinal upset, skin irritation, and respiratory problems.
Making your own non-toxic play dough is a great way to avoid these harmful chemicals and create a safe environment for your child to play in.
What are the benefits of non-toxic play dough?
Non-toxic play dough is safe for kids to play with and ingest, so you don’t have to worry about it causing them harm or irritation. It’s also much easier to make at home than commercial play dough, and it’s more affordable. Plus, you can customize the color and scent of your play dough to create a unique experience for your child.
Chemicals to look out for in play dough
If you are going to purchase commercial play dough, then there are better, non-toxic options. When looking for playdough there are several chemicals to look out for in play dough. These include but are not limited to:
- Boric acid – A common ingredient in commercial play dough, boric acid is a toxic chemical that can be harmful if ingested.
- Lead – Some commercial play dough contains lead, which is a toxic metal that can cause brain damage if ingested.
- Phthalates – Commercial play dough often contains phthalates, which are chemicals that can disrupt the endocrine system and cause reproductive problems.
- PVC – Many commercial play doughs contain PVC, which is a type of plastic that can release harmful chemicals when heated.
- Toluene – Some commercial play doughs contain toluene, which is a toxic chemical that can cause respiratory problems.
To avoid these harmful chemicals, opt for homemade or organic play dough instead. You can also look for play dough that is made with natural ingredients and doesn’t contain any of these harmful chemicals.
Ingredients for non-toxic and natural playdough
Whilst we know that you don’t want toxic ingredients in your playdough, what do you actually want in your store-bought playdough?
The answer is pretty simple, the fewer ingredients and the more transparent the company os about their ingredients, the easier it will be to make informed decisions.
When looking for non-toxic and natural playdough, these are the ingredients that you want to see.
- Organic flour, gluten-free if you are a gluten-free household
- Sea salt
- Cream of tartar
- Oil (ideally coconut or almond oil)
- Organic essential oils
- Food-based colors such as turmeric, beets etc.
If you stick with these ingredients, you’ll know that you’re buying non-toxic playdough for your little ones.
Brands of non-toxic and natural play dough
The Dough Project playdough is all natural ingredients and they use food-based colors including turmeric, spirulina, charcoal and beets to create beautiful and earthy colors. The ingredients they use are organic wheat flour, cream of tartar, sea salt and vegtable oil.
You can rest assured that The Dough Project playdough is safe for children of all ages.
Land of Dough is a range of all-natural, non-toxic, eco-friendly play doughs for kids. The doughs are made from completely biodegradable ingredients and are safe for kids to play with. They claim that they are the most eco-friendly playdough on the planet.
Whilst they don’t reveal a complete list of ingredients, they do say that all of their ingredients are natural and also contain natural colors, almond oil, compostable glitter and paper packaging.
The Mommy Camp has created non-toxic play dough kits. The playdough comes with other utensils and play items so your kids can get super creative! The playdough is made from wheat flour, salt, vegetable oil, water, cream of tartar and food dyes. They also have a gluten-free option.
Present Not Perfect is another company that creates non-toxic play dough kits. Their kits come with a range of small play materials and their play dough is created with calmness in mind. The ingredients of their play dough are all non-toxic and include flour, cream of tartar, salt, organic coconut oil, food-grade coloring and essential oils.
Is it easy to make non-toxic and natural play dough at home?
Yes, it’s very easy to make natural play dough at home with safe, natural ingredients. All you need is flour, salt, cream of tartar, water, and oil (I recommend using coconut oil because it stays stable for longer due to its high saturated fat content). You can also add essential oils to create your own unique non-toxic play dough.
What are some tips for making non-toxic play dough?
Here are some tips for making non-toxic play dough:
- Use flour (preferably organic), salt, cream of tartar, water, and coconut oil to make your play dough.
- You can also add essential oils to create your own unique play dough.
- Store your play dough in an airtight container when you’re not using it.
- If your play dough starts to dry out, you can add a little bit of water to it to make it softer.
- When you’re finished playing with your play dough, put it back in the airtight container and store it in a cool, dark place.
Can you use essential oils as a fragrance in play dough?
Yes, you can use essential oils as a fragrance in play dough. Just add a few drops to the recipe when you add the coconut oil. Knead it to distribute the essential oils evenly.
Which essential oils are ok for kids?
There are many essential oils that are safe for kids. These include lavender, chamomile, orange, lemon and lime. Please don’t add any essential oil because some are not appropriate for small children. We also recommend using certified organic essential oils from a reputable brand.
How long does natural play dough last?
Natural play dough will last for several months if stored in an airtight container if placed in a cool, dark place. You can also refrigerate your play dough to make it last even longer.
Do you need to refrigerate non-toxic play dough?
No, you don’t need to refrigerate non-toxic play dough. Just store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place when you’re not using it. You can refrigerate it to help it last longer.
Non-toxic play dough recipe:
1 cup flour
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup salt
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
5 drops of essential oil
- In a bowl, combine flour, water, salt, cream of tartar, coconut oil and essential oils.
- Combine until dough forms. If the mixture is too dry, add more water and if it’s too wet, add more flour slowly.
- Knead the dough until it is smooth.
- Store in an airtight container.
That’s a wrap of natural play dough!
We hope that gives you all the information to make the right non-toxic play dough decision for your home and family! There are plenty of options out there!