A super soft play dough recipe for sensitive skin, today’s Cornstarch and Conditioner Play Dough is a great no-cook play dough recipe perfect for using up bottles of conditioner or moisturizer that don’t work for your hair or skin type.
Cornstarch and Conditioner Play Dough Recipe
Sensory play activities are a weekly occurrence in our house. They are so great for building neural pathways in little brains and also a great way for kids to explore different concepts while building fine motor skills and having fun.
While I’m not one to shy away from sensory activities that take some effort to set up on my part, I definitely prefer the quick and easy activities that I can whip up in 10 minutes or less. (Like soap foam sensory bins or vinegar and baking soda bins.)
This cornstarch and conditioner play dough only requires two ingredients and comes together in less than 5 minutes.
It’s super soft and squishy – definitely the softest play dough I have ever tried.
It’s perfect for providing a quick and easy activity on a rainy day, or keeping the kids happy while you’re whipping up dinner.
You can alternatively use moisturizer or baby lotion to replace the conditioner in this recipe (like we did in this cornstarch play dough). Using a scented conditioner or moisturizer is an easy way to add a gentle scent to this play dough without having to mess with flavor extracts or essential oils.
For a calming activity before bedtime, you can use a conditioner or baby lotion with a calming scent like lavender.
Now, I feel like a disclosure is warranted for this easy play dough.
Unlike my go-to homemade play dough recipe which is made with traditional play dough ingredients, this cornstarch and conditioner play dough can get pretty messy. After about 30 minutes of play, it starts to crumble and stick to surfaces and hands. This is because the cornstarch play dough dries out quickly when exposed to air.
When you notice that starting to happen, you can place the play dough back in a bowl and add more conditioner to re-hydrate the play dough and then knead it in to bring it back to the super soft play dough consistency. However, if you just let the kids keep playing… it will continue to get messier and messier.
Personally, I use this play dough recipe to use up conditioners or moisturizers that don’t work for my curly hair or sensitive skin. (My local shelters do not take used bottles – I’ve asked.) So, for me, it’s a fun way to get actual use out of those bottles so they don’t go to waste and it’s a fun deviation from our normal play dough recipe because of the unique super soft and squishy texture this cornstarch play dough provides.
If the mess is going to bother you (or your kids), then a traditional play dough might be a better option. You can check out our full play dough recipe collection here. I also always use these sturdy plastic lunch trays to contain messy crafts and sensory activities so I’m not scraping slime or play dough off of the table and it keeps the mess in one spot.
This cornstarch play dough can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks. You may need to add more conditioner to the play dough if it dries out a bit with storage.
Check out our quick video on how to make this easy cornstarch and conditioner play dough (and how squishy and soft it is to play with) – and then don’t forget to scroll down to grab your free printable recipe card:
Materials Needed to Make Cornstarch and Conditioner Play Dough
- Cornstarch <– can use flour in a pinch, but it won’t be as soft
- Conditioner <– can use moisturizer or baby lotion, if desired
Tip: you can add food coloring or glitter to this play dough, if desired. My advice if adding food coloring is to add it directly to the conditioner so you don’t have to knead it in completely with your hands, resulting in multi-colored fingers.
How to Make Cornstarch and Conditioner Play Dough
Place the cornstarch in a large bowl (larger than you think you’ll need to make this play dough recipe).
If you want to add food coloring to this recipe, add it directly to the conditioner before adding to the cornstarch.
Use a spoon to stir the conditioner into the cornstarch until the conditioner is fully incorporated.
Start kneading the dough to make it smooth and cohesive.
If the dough is sticky at all, add a bit more cornstarch. If it’s too dry and not forming a cohesive dough, add more conditioner.
Pin this Super Soft Play Dough for a fun sensory play activity the kids will love:
Grab your free printable instructions for how to make this super soft play dough recipe:
- 1 cup Conditioner
- 2 cups Corn Starch
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Large Spoon
- Place the cornstarch in a large bowl (larger than you think you'll need to make this play dough recipe).
- If you want to add food coloring to this recipe, add it directly to the conditioner before adding to the cornstarch.
- Use a spoon to stir the conditioner into the cornstarch until the conditioner is fully incorporated.
- Start kneading the dough to make it smooth and cohesive.
- If the dough is sticky at all, add a bit more cornstarch. If it's too dry and not forming a cohesive dough, add more conditioner.
You can add food coloring or glitter to this play dough, if desired. My advice if adding food coloring is to add it directly to the conditioner so you don't have to knead it in completely with your hands, resulting in multi-colored fingers.
If the dough gets too messy or crumbly, place back in a bowl and add more conditioner. Re-knead until smooth and not messy.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
I hope your kids love this easy play dough recipe – just be prepared for the mess!
For more easy play dough ideas, check out our full Homemade Play Dough collection here:
For more sensory activities for kids, check out our full Sensory Play collection here: