Halloween play dough

Image from the Dover Sampler

Today I made play dough for Red Chief's preschool class. I had a bit too much fun with it, and added scents to match the colors—anise for black, orange-cinnamon for orange, lemon for yellow, and almond for pink glitter.

To make the black anise-scented play dough, I steeped 1 tablespoon of anise seeds in boiling water for about 15 minutes. Then I strained them out and used the water in the recipe. For the color, I used Wilton Icing Colors (these are more intense than liquid food coloring). I had to add quite a bit of black, almost half a teaspoon, to make it work. It was still looking a bit blue-green, so I added a bit of red, and then it was all right. The colors deepen slightly as the playdough cooks. It came out a beautiful solid, rich black.

To make the orange-cinnamon play dough, I added 1 teaspoon orange extract and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. The cinnamon muddies up the color a bit, so next time I might steep a broken cinnamon stick in the water, like I did above with the anise. Mine with the ground cinnamon turned out looking kind of like pumpkin pie.

For the yellow lemon play dough, I added 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract.

For the pink glitter play dough, I added 1 teaspoon almond extract and 1 teaspoon silver glitter. It turned out really cute!

These would make great gifts or party favors. It's so rewarding to make—it's quick and easy, and much appreciated by the kids.

More inspiration here.


  1. OooOoo! Sounds wonderful, so glad I found this today! Book marking it :)


  2. Good idea to take it to his school. I might copycat you on that one.

  3. You are such a good room-mother. Do they use that term for preschool I wonder?

  4. Oh, I bet these smell just wonderful! We made a lovely pumpkin pie play dough last year on the blog--oh, it smelled so good. Thanks for these.