A fun homemade play dough recipe made with real fruit juice, this Blueberry Play Dough recipe smells amazing and make the perfect addition to your summer sensory play!
Homemade Blueberry Play Dough
Homemade play dough is one of my favorite sensory materials to have on hand for the kids.
It’s quick and easy to make, lasts for weeks (seriously) and they can spend hours playing with it without getting bored. I love watching how creative their imaginations can be when presented with just a lump of dough! Even my 8 year old loves when I may homemade play dough, making it a great activity for the whole family.
Play dough is more than just fun – it stimulates the senses and encourages kids to develop a variety of different skills:
- hand strength and fine motor skills
- scientific concepts like observing, experimenting and noticing changes in matter
- language building by using descriptive words to describe the play dough and their play
- social and emotional development in playing cooperatively with others and feeling confident in their creations
- math concepts like contrast and comparison – you can expand to include play dough in math activities or encourage children to form different shapes, etc.
This blueberry play dough has a wonderful vibrant color and amazing blueberry smell thanks to a quick homemade blueberry juice. You can use a sugar-free, store-bought juice if you prefer.
Kids can play with this play dough however they want, but I think it lends itself great to:
- pretend baking play
- rolling into little balls (a great fine motor activity)
- counting out “blueberries”
It would also be great to make this play dough after reading a book about blueberries, like Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey.
Is play dough safe to eat? While this play dough recipe is taste-safe for toddlers who may sneak a small sample (thanks to all natural, food-based ingredients), play dough is not safe to eat in large quantities due to the large amount of salt in the recipe.
How long does this natural play dough last? Because this play dough is made with fresh fruit juice, you will want to store it in an airtight container in the fridge. It should last one to two weeks.
This video shows how to make a conventional play dough – swap in the blueberry juice for the boiling water and food dye seen in this video:
Materials for Natural Blueberry Play Dough
- Vegetable Oil <– you can use melted coconut oil but if it’s cold where you are, it will make the play dough a bit tough at the start of playing (will soften with the heat of hands playing)
- Cream of Tartar <– I buy the big container or from a bulk store as those little jars are so expensive! A bulk container will last us for months of play dough making – and can also be used for soft sugar cookies, snickerdoodle cookies, etc.
Tip: you can use store-bought, sugar-free juice in place of the blueberries and water called for in this recipe.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Wooden spoon or spatula <– I like these spatulas because they are one solid piece and don’t have removable heads for bacteria to get trapped underneath. Plus they are heat-resistant and have a lifetime warranty.
How to Make Natural Play Dough
Start by making your blueberry juice.
Place the blueberries and water in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Strain the blueberries (they can still be used in a smoothie or dessert) and place 2 cups of the blueberry water back in the saucepan.
Add in the oil, flour, salt and cream of tartar.
Turn heat to medium and stir constantly. The play dough will start forming a ball and sticking together after about 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat and fold out the dough onto a floured surface.
Allow the dough to cool enough to touch, and then knead until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Grab your free printable for our natural blueberry play dough recipe:
- 1 cup Blueberries
- 3 cups Water
- 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 2 cups Flour
- 3/4 cup Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Cream of Tartar
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- Start by making your blueberry juice: Place the blueberries and water in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Strain the blueberries (they can still be used in a smoothie or dessert) and place 2 cups of the blueberry water back in the saucepan.
- Add in the oil, flour, salt and cream of tartar.
- Turn heat to medium and stir constantly. The play dough will start forming a ball and sticking together after about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and fold out the dough onto a floured surface.
- Allow the dough to cool enough to touch, and then knead until smooth, about 2 minutes.
You can use store-bought, sugar-free juice in place of the blueberries and water called for in this recipe.
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