Homemade Pumpkin Play Dough

Homemade play dough is a wonderful multi-sensory experience. It feels wonderful, much softer and mold-able than store bought.  You can a multitude of things to it to change the texture like, coffee grounds, oatmeal, cornmeal, soap.  If you scent it you can really spark your child’s senses.  My hands down favorite homemade play dough scent is Pumpkin spice!  When they play the whole room is scented with the smell of baking, but luckily it scent carries not calories.

Homemade Pumpkin Play Dough

Play dough is also fantastic for building fine motor skills.   I make a double batch of this, store it in a Ziploc freezer bag and it lasts us the entire fall season. If it begins to dry add an additional teaspoon or two of oil and work it in well. You can add a bit of orange food coloring if you feel it needs it, I prefer the natural color, especially when I use whole wheat flour to make it.

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour ( I used whole wheat)
  • 2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 2 tbsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. canola or coconut oil

Mix flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, salt, cream of tartar, and coconut oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, add water a little at a time and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly.  You will know its ready when it begins to form into a ball in the center of pan. Remove from pot and allow to cool.   Once cool work the play dough a bit and it’s ready to go.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Play Dough

While it smells delicious, it isn’t very tasty.  If your child samples it (mine certainly did) all ingredients are safe.


Give your child a rolling pin, fall cookie cutters, and muffin or pie tins.


I brought in little broken pieces of stick from outside and we used them to make little pumpkins.  Which of course led to reciting “5 Little Pumpkins.”

Pumpkin Play Dough Pumpkins

You can also give your child small items to press into play dough.