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DIY Purple Playdough Recipe

We love our hands-on play at our house. And as much as my inner self cringes against the mess, there’s generally always a cookie sheet or two with playdough or kinetic sand for the kids to enjoy throughout the day. Recently, as part of our explorations with our A Year of Playing Skillfully curriculum, I made some DIY purple playdough that turned out fantastic!!

Only… I didn’t know it would turn out purple!! This is the fantastic thing, and I thought I’d share it with you all in case you’d love to make some colorful, yet natural playdough for your kiddos.

DIY Purple Playdough Recipe

DIY Purple Playdough Recipe

Here’s what happened. I used a very basic homemade playdough recipe … only per the instructions in the curriculum, I added a few opened bags of tea for an “herbal playdough” experience.

I thought it would be great if our playdough smelled like blueberries, so I used a blueberry tea. And there must be real blueberry bits in there, because as soon as I boiled up the tea leaves, the water turned a deep purple!

Voila! DIY Purple Playdough! And it smells absolutely delicious too! Like picking blueberries in August!DIY Purple Playdough Recipe

Try making this DIY Purple Playdough Recipe!

*Adapted from A Year Of Playing Skillfully

  • Blueberry Herbal Tea Bags (2-4)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups flour (preferably white as wheat has a strong smell and can absorb too much water)
  • 1/2 cup salt (this preserves the dough, did you know?)
  • 2 T cream of tartar (you can add more, but I find it thickens up with less, and this is such an expensive ingredient)
  • 1 T oil (olive works well)Steep tea bags in boiling water until a rich color develops

DIY Purple Playdough Recipe (about 5-10 min). Remove bags and set aside to cool for later.

Stir in remaining ingredients to pan and cook on medium heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Dough will begin to stick together.

Turn out dough onto a hard surface (can be floured if dough is still sticky).

Open up cooled tea bags and distribute brewed leaves into the dough. Knead until well mixed. This will provide additional texture and scent as your children play with the dough.

Be sure dough is sufficiently cooled before children play!

Variations on DIY Purple Playdough

Now, I’m not sure what color you’d get if you tried out a different herbal tea. But I’m sure whatever you use will smell lovely!!

Have fun with this delicious DIY Purple Playdough! Keep it in the fridge between uses and it will last a VERY long time!

What’s your favorite playdough recipe or spin off? I still have to try that cloud dough!!

DIY Purple Playdough Recipe

PIN THIS–>> to your DIY or Natural Play boards for hands on fun later on!


Thursday 3rd of August 2017

Did not work just made a mess :(

Julie Kieras

Saturday 25th of May 2019

I'm so sorry this didn't work for you. I have made it nearly a dozen times and there were a couple times the dough came out lumpy. I use whatever flour is old so sometimes I have used different flours and that can make a difference. Also, you have to really stir this the WHOLE time or it will lump up.

Julie Kieras

Wednesday 9th of August 2017

Wendy, it is messy at first, but you have to really keep stirring it until the flour really absorbs the liquid. That said, I've made this many times using the same steps and I did have one instance it totally flopped... May be the heat was different or the tea I used altered the chemistry of the mixture. I'm sorry it didn't work out this time.

Lisa L

Wednesday 13th of January 2016

I never thought to use tea. Neat!


Wednesday 13th of January 2016

DIY playdough has been on my To Do List. Love this idea adding the tea! I just got some caramel apple herbal tea - wonder how that will smell? :)

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