blessed beyond a doubt affiliate disclosure2Today the circus came to town. At least to our house! We have quite an obsession with play dough at our house. Currently, we have at least 6 recipes worth of different colors and scents with which we’ve been playing.

Tonight we made some heavenly, orange sherbet play dough. Yum! Combined with the lemongrass, play dough we made last week, our school/play room smells divine!

If you want to keep your kids of all age occupied for hours at a time, play dough is the way to go! As I’m sitting here typing this, the kids have been playing quietly for two hours. No lie.


Play dough ties all types of play together:

Sensory exploration

Fine motor skills


It’s suitable for all ages. I have four daughters that are 3, 6, 9, and 10-years old. They were all pretending to be a part of the circus in their own way. My 3-year old doesn’t really talk yet, but she was enjoying manipulating the dough and moving the animals around. The other three had a full production going!

I really like making play dough in my stand mixer. I don’t have a fancy mixer, but it seems to do the kneading a lot better than I can by hand. That makes a much smoother dough.

I simply throw the ingredients in and let the mixer do the hard work.

My favorite recipe is slightly adapted from the usual recipe in that I use a tad more oil to make a smoother dough. I also use vinegar instead of cream of tartar. Mainly because I can’t get cream of tartar in this country.

However, because I use vinegar using essential oils or extracts is a must. Nobody wants to play with stinky vinegar play dough. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but for our lemongrass play dough I used lemongrass essential oil and for the orange sherbet I used orange essential oil.

I buy my essential oils at the local herbal store. I would imagine any health food or whole food store in the U.S. would have them. These do not need to be fancy expensive oils if you do not want them to be. I’m all about the budget!

Recipe for smooth mixer play dough:

  • 2 cups flour (roughly, I usually need a little more in the final kneading process)
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water (I use my electric kettle)
  • A smidgen of gel food coloring (I find this works much better than liquid food coloring)
  • 3 Tbsp. oil
  • 2 Tbsp. vinegar

Throw it all in the mixer with a dough hook and let it mix for 3-5 minutes. If you notice it is too sticky add some more flour. Depending on your style of mixer you may need to do a short kneading at the end to bring all the dough together into a smooth ball.

Play Dough sensory activityAnd that’s it!

Add in some super fun circus elements and the circus will travel to your house too! Just print, laminate and cut out the circus pieces for endless opportunities for the kids’ imaginations to run wild!

Click here to download your FREE circus set.

What are your favorite things to use with play dough? I’d love to hear about them!