This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.Christmas season is such a crazy busy time for all of us with young kiddos. With all of the shopping, holiday events, and talk of Santa, it’s no wonder kids sometimes have a hard time containing their excitement! This Candy Cane Play Dough recipe provides a healthy outlet for all of the excitement pent up inside of them, and gives even the little ones a way to do something Christmas-y! (Without rearranging all of the ornaments on the tree or unrolling all of your rolls of ribbon! 😉)
How To Make Candy Cane Play Dough
You will need just a few ingredients to make this Christmas play dough. Don’t be intimidated by the fact that you have to heat it on the stove–it comes together very fast. Here’s what you will need:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup salt
- 1 T canola oil
- 2 tsp. cream of tartar
- red gel food coloring (gel colors yield more intense colors than liquid food coloring-they have them at Walmart or Amazon)
- peppermint and cinnamon essential oils
Step 1: In a saucepan, mix all the ingredients minus the food coloring and essential oils over low heat. Keep stirring throughout.
Step 2: Watch for the mixture to begin looking less wet and to begin pulling away from the side of the pan. It becomes drier the longer you cook it, so you don’t want to overcook it or you’ll have dry, crumbly play dough.
Step 3: As soon as it looks like a soft, cohesive playdough consistency, remove the dough from the heat and scrape it out onto a plate or cutting board. Mine takes about three minutes on the stove, so we are not talking about a long time at all. I took the photo below right before taking it off the heat so you can see what it should look like.
Step 4: As soon as it is cool enough for you to handle, which is usually almost immediately, divide it into two parts. Color one part with red dye, and leave the other plain. To color the red dough ball, simply use the tip of a knife or a toothpick to transfer a small amount of red dye to the dough. Then knead with your hands until the color is distributed. If you need more intensity, just add more dye. I use a toothpick and dip it in the gel dye, kind of scrape it off onto the dough, and then repeat one time. A little goes a long way.
Step 5: Make a little well in the red dough ball and add two drops of cinnamon essential oil. Fold the dough over and then knead it a few times to distribute. Repeat the same for the plain dough ball but add peppermint essential oil instead of cinnamon. When not in use, just store it in an airtight container like a jar. It’ll last all the way through the holiday season!
Time To Play
And now you have Christmas play dough ready to make candy canes! You can show your child how to twist the two colors together and then shape it into a candy cane shape. I love play dough for little ones. It provides a great sensory experience when they squish it with their fingers and shape it. By adding essential oils, they also get to experience different scents.
Mix some Candy Cane Play Dough up for your little one for a fun Christmas activity to do together. Or, make the play dough, set your child up with it at a table, and then get some of your own holiday tasks done in peace! Either way, you really can’t go wrong!