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SafeMama Non-Toxic Play Dough Showdown

By Kristie Turck •  Published 04/09/09 •  4 min read

Last updated on August 20th, 2022 at 10:10 am

natural homemade playdoughWith the cooler days of fall upon us, along with school breaks finding kids at home saying “I’m bored!” I thought doing a play dough comparison would be fun. That way I could compile a list of non-toxic play doughs and share it with you.

I don’t really know the specifics of what traditional Play-Doh is made of, I believe it’s a proprietary recipe but the day-glow colors make me wonder just what the heck my kid is playing with.  Not to mention might possibly be eating.  You know they all taste it once right?

So I went on a hunt for all the retail versions of natural alternatives that disclose their ingredients and possibly use safer ones.  And we have a home recipe too for those that want to save a few pennies.  When possible I had my 3-year-old son play with each brand for a week or so to give each one a fair test.   We rated them on things like pliability, texture, smell, color, price, and fun factor… so now on to the showdown:

List of Non-Toxic Play Dough

The Dough Project

We tested The Dough Project first and had a good time with it.  The Dough Project most closely resembles the texture and feel of traditional Play-Doh.  The colors are bright and rich, yet not day glow.  They have a wide variety of colors available in 1-ounce tubs.  The dough is unscented but has a doughy salty smell that isn’t overpowering or weird.

This dough lasts a long time with proper storage and was durable with repeated playtime.  The dough didn’t dry out unless left out too long.  The plastic tubs keep the dough sealed air tight to help keep them preserved.  They have play sets that include a wooden rolling pin and small “cookie cutters” that made this a bit more fun.

Get Yours at The Dough Project


Eco-kids Natural Plant Dye Modeling Dough

eco kids doughEco-kids carries a line of natural art supplies and craft projects that have a number of positive characteristics.  They are all made in the USA, they don’t use synthetic dyes, instead opting for the plant, vegetable and fruit extracts to color their products.  They use essential oils to keep the dough soft and pliable (and smelling pleasant!).

These doughs are fun to play with and kept my son busy.  Proper storage is essential with natural dough or they dry out pretty quickly. They smell nice and although they can get a little sticky after a while, they get the job done because let’s face it, how long can a kid play with dough before they get bored.

I like this company and their products, in fact, I use their wonderful eco-egg coloring kits at Easter time and they come out beautiful!


Get It: eco-kids Natural Plant Dye Modeling Dough |

SafeMama Play Dough Recipe

Instructions: Mix flour, salt and oil, and slowly add water. Cook over medium heat, stirring until dough becomes stiff. Put onto wax paper and let cool. Knead the dough with your hands until it feels right. Start playing as is, or divide into balls and add a few drops of the vegetable juices to make green, pink, and orange.  You can also use a few drops of traditional food coloring.

No Cook Play Dough Recipe

Instructions: Combine flour, salt and oil in a bowl. Gently mix together.If you want colored play dough, add 2 to 3 drops of food coloring to 1/3 cup of water, otherwise use plain water. Gradually add water to dry ingredients, mixing with your fingers until smooth. Knead the dough with your hands until smooth and pliable (about 3 to 5 minutes). Return to step one and start over to make another color!   Be sure to store the dough in an air tight container.

Price: Just the cost of supplies!

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