We love making homemade playdough and I prefer to stick to all natural ingredients when making playdough for young children, especially those who are still likely to mouth what they are playing with, which is what makes this recipe for Rosemary & Lemon Playdough Recipe perfect for children of all ages.
As well as being great sensory play for toddlers and preschoolers this is one of our most popular homemade playdough recipes for bigger kids too. Rosemary is believed to boost memory and focus (and lift mood) and lemon to improve concentration.
Which makes this playdough a great addition to our Fine Motor Alphabet Activity or the playdough spelling suggestion found in the Hands On Spelling Activities list. And great for literacy and math based table activities in kindergarten or the early years of elementary/primary school.
To make this playdough, I adapted the neverfail homemade playdough recipe that has featured in so many of our sensory playdough ideas – like this Funfetti Textured Playdough Recipe and the deliciously scented Hot Chocolate Playdough Recipe.
You can find (and print) the step-by-step recipe for this Rosemary & Lemon Playdough Recipe below, at the end of this post.
Before we started, I enlisted the help of the children to cut some rosemary from our rosemary bushes. We cut eight large sprigs and roughly tore off the leaves and snapped the stems into a bowl before I added 1 1/2 cups of boiling water and left it to steep. The longer you leave it, the stronger the rosemary scent will be but I would recommend leaving it for a minimum of two hours. Once it is ready, strain the rosemary water to remove all of the leaves and pieces of stalk.
We also juiced two big lemons for the recipe using a hand juicer – great for motor skill development!
I colored our playdough after cooking, dividing the dough into two halves and dying half yellow and half green with liquid food coloring.
And then it was time to play!
- 2 cups of plain flour
- 1 cup of salt
- 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
- 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
- 1 1/2 cups of rosemary water* see Notes
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- Liquid food coloring* see Notes below for options for coloring dough
- Mixing bowl
- Hand juicer
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Wooden spoon
- Chopping board
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. See note below about coloring dough.
- Stir over a medium heat with a wooden spoon for 3-5 minutes. The dough should begin to form a ball.
- Continue to turn over on the heat for another 1-2 minutes.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth.
- To make Rosemary Water: Tear the leaves off and snap the stems of eight large, fresh sprigs of Rosemary. Place them into a bowl, then add 1 1/2 cups of boiling water and leave to steep for at least two hours. Strain the rosemary water to remove all of the leaves and pieces of stalk.
- To add coloring to dough: Add liquid food coloring directly to the saucepan before cooking for a single dough color OR for multiple colors, once dough has cooked and cooled, divide into balls and add 1-2 drops of liquid food coloring to an indent made in the middle of each ball. Knead until the color is fully distributed. We used this method to color our playdough yellow and green.
- Storage: Homemade playdough is best stored wrapped securely in an airtight plastic bag in a cool, dry place.