Lemon Play Dough

We have a lemon tree out the back of our house and this year we have had heaps of lemons grow. Last year we only got 3 lemons off the tree…Strange!

So this year I thought I would try as many recipes with lemon in as I can. I need to do more because so far I have only done Lemon Meringue Pie, Lemon Honey, Lemon and Coconut Muffins and Lemon Play dough. I need to get baking this weekend!! So anyway, here is our Lemon Play dough recipe. I’ve made this many times back when I was working but this time it was quite sticky and needed extra flour to get a better dough.

If your children are old enough let them help make the dough! When they measure ingredients they are building their Mathematical understanding with counting and looking at the numbers.  As they watch the different ingredients mix together, they are developing Science concepts as the substances change form.  Children will develop fine motor skills as they tip, pour and stir the ingredients. Then let them get messy as you all mix it into a dough with your hands!! So fun!


Lemon Play Dough Recipe:

  • 1 Cup of Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Cream of Tartar
  • 4 Tablespoons Cooking Oil
  • 4 or 5 Lemons to make 1 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 2 Cups Boiling Water
  • Yellow Food colouring
  • 4 Cups Flour
  1. Put Salt, Cream of Tartar and cooking oil into a glass or stainless steel bowl
  2. Juice lemons and lemon rind then pour into the boiling water and mix
  3. Add food colouring, I did 4 drops and got a pale yellow so add till you have your desired colour.
  4. Pour in flour and stir until you have a dough then tip onto bench and get kneading.
  5. Add more flour if it is too sticky, keep kneading and add more flour until you have the right consistency.



I found some Yellow things around the kitchen to offer Marley to use in the play dough. I used straws that I had cut up, cookie cutters, milk bottle tops, an ice tray and a lemon. He loved smelling the lemon and kept calling it a ball. He had heaps of fun and we played there for nearly an hour!!





The benefits of Play Dough

When children help make play dough they develop maths and science concepts with measuring, counting, stirring, mixing, change of substance, cause and effect, develop hand eye co-ordination and small motor control.

When children play with play dough they learn to regulate their emotions, explore textures, stimulate the senses through touch, sight and smell. Children develop language skills, and understanding of properties of substances.

With the addition of props children can use imagination and promotes links to real life experiences and imitation.


Sensory experiences such as Play Dough allow children to develop their senses and emotional development.  It helps children to regulate their moods.  Sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways which lead to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks.


Play Dough Props that can be found around the house:

  • chopsticks
  • silicone muffin cups
  • plastic lids
  • cookie cutters
  • cut up straws
  • bottle tops
  • small containers
  • plastic knives
  • yoghurt containers
  • ice cube trays
  • stamps
  •  sticks
  • leaves
  • pebbles
  • Animals or figurines
  • Feathers
  • Birthday Candles
  • Buttons
  • Rolling Pin
  • Sequins
  • Glitter
  • Keys
  • Shells
  • Hammers

See the recipes for Vanilla or Chocolate Play Dough under Sensory Activities on the blog.

Have Fun!!

Amalie x

5 thoughts on “Lemon Play Dough

  1. What a great idea! Definitely pinning this to try later! I can only imagine this smells divine! Love that you have collected yellow items around your home to keep with the lemon theme – Brilliant.

    Thanks for sharing on Friday Favourites. Check out #ToddlerFunFriday – it’s a great link party for Toddlers.

  2. This is great idea, of all the years of play dough I would never have thought about adding lemon, really creative!

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