How to Make Fall Scented Homemade Playdough

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What could be better than homemade playdough?! FALL SCENTED Homemade Playdough! This post covers how to make a fall scented homemade playdough that requires no cooking and will be a hit with your little ones!

Updated 8/27/2022

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Ah the smells of fall and autumn time are so comforting! There are those who love their pumpkin spice and others who love the smell of fresh apple pie. Fall is one of our family’s favorite times of year and we love to surround ourselves in the season. So why not incorporate these treasured fall scents into your child’s play?!

Playdough is one of the best open play toys, in my personal experience (I may be a little bias as I’ve always LOVED building and creating with playdough and clay). There are endless possibilities in what it can become or help create! Additionally, now that I’m a mama, I’ve found that there are so many developmental benefits to playing with playdough.

Benefits of Playdough

Here’s a couple benefits I’ve noticed while watching our child play:

  • Helped develop fine motor skills by poking and pulling objects in and out of the playdough. There’s a lot of hand eye coordination going on when playing with the malleable dough!
  • Creative juices start to explode as they develop their imaginative and free play skills.
  • If playing with friends, it aids in social development. Learning to create together or share and take turns with the materials definitely works on those social skills.
  • With a structured or focused play, playdough can be used to improve math skills or scientific thinking. Rolling the playdough into balls and counting them or creating letters with rolled lengths.
  • Lastly, playing with playdough engages their senses. Rolling out the playdough with their hands, seeing it squish between their fingers, smelling the fall scented playdough. Sometimes tasting…hopefully not eating too much, but it happens!

Truly in my experience, playing with playdough has so much versatility and is fun for a wide age range of children. Even I enjoy smashing the dough and building creatures and towers with my child! I mean many of us are kids at heart, right!?

Now onto the fun DIY recipe for the fall scented homemade playdough!

What You’ll Need

Some of the Amazon affiliate links above are for bulk sizes because we use all the ingredients above a LOT for cooking and baking anyways. Also, if you intend to make several fall scented homemade playdough balls throughout the fall season, then buying in bulk is cheaper and creates less packaging waste!

ingredients on countertop for fall scented homemade playdough
Ingredients for no cook fall scented homemade playdough

How to Make Fall Scented Homemade Playdough

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Mix flour, cream of tartar, salt, and oil into a large mixing bowl or standmixer.
  2. Boil water and add a couple drops of food coloring to the boiling water. For this fall themed playdough, I went with a few drops of red and yellow to make a really pale orange. It felt like a nice light fall color, but you can make yours as bright as you want in any color!
  3. Then add the dyed boiling water to the dry ingredients bowl
  4. Mix continuously until it becomes a sticky and combined dough
Combined dough waiting to cool down
  1. Allow dough to cool down
  2. Wet your hands or dust them in flour. Then remove the dough from bowl and knead vigorously for several minutes until all the stickiness is gone. If the dough remains sticky, add small increments of flour until stickiness is gone and dough is a good consistency.
Homemade playdough kneaded to good consistency without stickiness
  1. Now the fun fall scented playdough part! Have your little one help shake your preferred spice onto the dough. You can put as MUCH or little as you want to make it smell like fall. Below are some of our favorite fall scents to try:

FYI my two year old will shake the spice jar FOREVER or even try to pry the lid off and dump it all if I let him, so definitely a supervised task!

Adding spices to make fall scented homemade playdough
Children love to participate, so get them involved!

TADA! Wonderful fall scented homemade playdough! Time to let your child play!

Storing Homemade Playdough

Now you can store the homemade playdough in a glass tupperware and it’ll keep for up to 6 months. You can keep it in the fridge if needed, but I’ve found ours stays well in a sealed glass container in a cabinet. Or if the homemade playdough has gotten too icky, full of crumbs, or dried out, then you can compost it! It’s just water, flour, salt, and spices, so it can even be composted at home if you don’t have compost curbside pickup.

Additionally, I’ve found that little ones sometimes rip it into a ton of small pieces. The really small pieces tend to dry out before they are done playing too. Instead of smashing the dried homemade playdough back into the rest, I just typically sweep it into a pile and compost it.

Airtight glass storage container

Enhance the Sensory Activity

So to make this even more of an engaging fall themed sensory activity, you can add in other elements with the homemade playdough.

  • Fall Cookie Cutters – A go-to with playdough is cutting out shapes, so use some fall themed cookie cutters. You can even turn it into a counting/sorting game if you cut out some shapes and then have your child(ren) count or sort by shape.
  • Wooden Pattern Rollers or Stamp Tools – These are a great staple for sensory activities and work fabulously with playdough!
  • Mini Pumpkins – Yeah, it’s fall, so pumpkins are definitely everywhere. Kids will find a million ways to play with them from using the pumpkin as a stamp to smashing the playdough into the pumpkin creases. Bonus points if you grew the pumpkins yourselves!
  • Nature Elements – Sticks, rocks, leaves, acorns, pinecones etc. These are my favorite for using with homemade playdough as it let’s them use their imagination to create something. You can go on a Nature walk in the morning to collect objects and then use them for the homemade playdough sensory activity. It’s a great way to engage in nature play while indoors.
an imaginary creature made from fall scented homemade playdough
Making creatures is always a fun way to play. My two year old LOVES animals!

There are so many ways children can play with homemade playdough, so try out different fall scents or extra tools/elements. You can swap out the extra elements or what you put in the homemade playdough to create different activities. Each time your child gets out the playdough, have a different focus. You can focus on literacy and math one time and imaginative play and role play with various elements the next time. It’s all about playing and learning!


Hope this fall scented homemade playdough recipe entertains your little ones for hours! Let us know what you think of the fall scented homemade playdough in the comments below!

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.

Yield: 1 ball of playdough

No Cook Fall Scented Homemade Playdough

No Cook Fall Scented Homemade Playdough

Simple no cook DIY recipe for fall scented homemade playdough

Prep Time 8 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Materials

  • 2 1/4 cups plain All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 cup of Salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • A few drops of Food Coloring or Natural Dye
  • Fall Scented Seasoning - Ground Cinnamon, Pumpkin Spice, Ground Nutmeg, Ground Allspice

Tools

  • Mixing Bowl or Standmixer
  • Pot or Electric Kettle for Boiling Water

Instructions

  1. Mix flour, cream of tartar, salt, and oil into a large mixing bowl or standmixer.
  2. Boil water and add a couple drops of food coloring to the boiling water.
  3. Then add dyed boiling water to the dry ingredients bowl
  4. Mix continuously until it becomes a sticky and combined dough
  5. Allow dough to cool down
  6. Wet your hands or dust them in flour. Then remove from bowl and knead vigorously for several minutes until all the stickiness is gone. If dough remains sticky, add small increments of flour until stickiness is gone and dough is a good consistency.
  7. Now add your preferred fall spice and mix into dough. You can put as MUCH or little as you want to make it smell like fall. Some of our favorite fall scents: Ground Cinnamon, Pumpkin Spice, Ground Nutmeg, Ground Allspice

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