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Orange Scented Play Dough

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This play dough smells truly delicious! Its seriously easy to make, even with little ones helping out, and can work for summer, autumn or even Christmas time themes. Read on to find out how to make it…

You will need:

  • 1 orange (both juice and rind)
  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 heaped tsp of cream of tartar
  • 1 cup of boiled water than has cooled
  • Optional – red and yellow food gel
  • Optional – dried oranges (cut into slices and cook at 100c for approx 5-6 hours)
The dried oranges aren’t completely necessary, we just had one that needed using up!


As with all of our play dough recipes, we make it simple enough so that my 3 year old daughter can help. That means that we do a ‘no cook’ version that is all hand mixed.

  • Begin by mixing all of the dry ingredients together.
  • Drizzle in the olive oil and mix together.
  • Grate the orange peel into a separate bowl, then add a good squeeze of the juice to the mix.
  • If you want the dough to be more orange, try a light mix of food colouring. We did two parts yellow to one part red and it turned out to be a mini colour mix exercise for Miss 3 (win!)
  • Gradually add the cooled, boiled water, kneading the dough each time until you are happy with the consistency – not too sticky, not too dry!
  • Mix the food colouring in to the dough – I haven’t put a specific quantity for the dye but the more you use, the more vibrant the colours.
  • Finally add the orange rind grating.
  • Store in an airtight container when not in use.

Storing Homemade Play Dough:

To really make your play dough last, you need to store in correctly. I tend to use sandwich bags or ziplock bags, which I then reuse for different batches of play dough. Seal them inside a Tupperware box or even takeaway container. Here i’ve used the IKEA GLIS box which is possibly my new favourite thing!

Store your play dough in a cool dry place so that it lasts for as long as possible. In the summertime when it gets ridiculously hot, we’ve stored ours in the fridge!

If the play dough ends up getting left out after play, try reviving it with a tiny bit of water.

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Sian Thomas

Sian Thomas

Sian is the founder of Teach Investigate Play. She helps parents navigate the early years by providing meaningful and simple activities. She also owns 'Get Set Social Media' - a social media consultancy for small businesses. From the UK, now living in Vienna (via Australia). About page has more!

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