After making our bath time play dough a few months ago, I had some requests for a gluten-free soap play dough option and I’m excited to be sharing it with you today!
We just had a child join our daycare with a gluten sensitivity, which is a first for us, so I’m getting a little sneak peek into the world of food sensitivities and trying to adapt all of the fun sensory play ideas out there within a set of limitations.
While for most kids with gluten-sensitivities, playing with play dough should not present a real issue, the fact is that in cases of celiac or in situations where you can’t be sure that a child is washing their hands thoroughly between sensory play and eating (or touching eyes/mouths, etc) it is a good idea to have gluten-free options available.
Especially if children are using this play dough to wash their hands or in the bath, we want to ensure they are not being exposed to something that can cause any unpleasant reactions.
The recipe for this gluten-free soap play dough is actually thanks to one of my favorite Youtube Channels, What’s Up Moms – however, I had to change the increments for our soap to work.
I also tested this recipe with both a creamy body wash and a castille soap, so you can confidently know that whatever you already have on hand is going to work great!
Ingredients for Gluten-free Soap Play Dough
- 1 cup corn starch
- 1/4 cup oil – we used olive oil
- 1/2 cup liquid soap
Tip: always have slightly more of what the recipe calls for on hand, in case you need to adjust. Things as simple as your city’s elevation, your home’s humidity, and using different brands of products can significantly change ratios.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Large mixing bowl
- Mason Jars or soap container with a cover
How to Make Gluten-free Soap Play Dough
We made two types of gluten-free play dough soap to ensure that this recipe will work no matter what kind of body wash or soap you have on hand.
First up, we used a Dove Cucumber Body Wash that had a thick, creamy texture. It also had a built-in green color that was perfect for giving the play dough a light green hue.
If using a clear liquid soap, like castille soap, you may want to add in some food dye to give your play dough soap some color.
Just a couple drops should do it so you don’t have to worry about dying your child’s hands when they try to lather up!
Whichever soap you use, simply mix all of the ingredients together – it will change consistency after about 2 minutes of stirring, so be patient before adding more cornstarch, if needed.
This is the texture we had at about the mid-point – it will change to a less sticky play dough-like substance after a couple of minutes.
If it doesn’t improve after stirring for 4 minutes, then add in tablespoons of corn starch at a time.
Store your play dough soap in a covered container, or just set out small amounts at a time.
We save our play dough soap mostly for bath time, but it’s also fun in a sensory bin for a bit of sudsy water play!
Pin this Gluten-free Play Dough recipe:
Grab your free printable for our gluten-free play dough recipe:
This gluten-free play dough soap would make an awesome present for a gluten-sensitive kid, or just a fun bath time surprise for your own child!
For more fun sensory and science experiment using soap, check out our original bath time soap play dough – or our Ivory Soap Science Experiment (which is perfect for preppring for clean mud) or our Magic Milk Science Experiment.