Making your own play dough at home is both easy and cost-effective! This DIY chocolate-scented play dough smells incredible, and because it’s made from common pantry ingredients, it’s perfectly safe for little ones who like to put everything in their mouths. Homemade play dough is way softer than the store-bought kind, and it lasts for months when properly stored. You’ll never want to buy play dough again!
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Now that we make our own play dough, we would never go back to buying it. There are just so many benefits to making it yourself!
Making your own play dough is super quick and easy, requires taste-safe ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, and costs next to nothing. Plus, it’s way softer than the store-bought stuff and lasts so much longer! My kids have literally left it out from morning till night on several occasions and our homemade play dough remained usable, whereas the store-bought equivalent tends to dry out completely within just a few hours!
If you make it yourself, it’s also super easy to customize by adding colours, scents, spices, glitter or anything else you can think of. You can even add in thermochromic pigment to make play dough that changes colours when it’s exposed to heat! How cool is that?!
My kids love all play dough, but they get especially excited when it’s scented, so this chocolate play dough was a huge hit!
It’s really quick to make and requires only a few simple pantry ingredients. That makes it taste-safe, so you don’t have to worry about giving it to little ones who like to put everything in their mouths. It’s also super soft and silky, and if you keep it in a sealed freezer bag like we do, it will last you for months!
Note: This play dough is meant to be taste-safe, not edible. As such, it doesn’t taste very appetizing. That’s a plus as far as I’m concerned, because I don’t want to actively encourage my two-year-old to put things in her mouth by making them taste too good!
How to Make Chocolate Play Dough
Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious-smelling chocolate play dough:
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (optionally baked on a cookie sheet for 5 minutes at 350°F if you need the recipe to be taste-safe)
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ¾ cup table salt (we buy ours in packs of three at Costco)
- 4 teaspoons cream of tartar (if you’re going to be making lots of homemade play dough, I recommend buying this item in bulk—it lasts forever and you’re sure to go through a lot of it!)
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
This recipe is adapted from my favourite play dough recipe by Jamielyn from I Heart Naptime. The original recipe isn’t chocolate-scented, but it’s our go-to recipe for homemade play dough and we often use it as a base when adding mix-ins like spices or glitter!
1. Combine Dry Ingredients
Start by combining the flour, cocoa powder, salt and cream of tartar in a medium pot or wok.
Note: Raw flour isn’t safe to eat, so if your kids are young and you need this recipe to be taste-safe, you’ll need to bake the flour for a few minutes before using it to kill any harmful bacteria. To do this, simply spread it evenly on a baking sheet and bake it for about 5 minutes at 350°F. (You can skip this step if you know your kids won’t be putting the play dough in their mouths.)
2. Add Water & Oil
Add the water and vegetable oil and stir until combined.
3. Cook Play Dough
Turn on the element on medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture forms a ball of dough that no longer sticks to the pot or wok.
4. Knead Play Dough
Remove the dough from the pot or wok and set it aside to cool. Once it’s cool enough, knead it with your hands until smooth.
And that’s it! The result is a super soft, super silky and super squishy ball of dough that smells amazing!
We had fun rolling it into little balls and placing them in an empty box of chocolates.
And we took out some cookie cutters to make little flower-shaped chocolate cookies!
We also like to use it as a learning tool when we play with our homemade number- and alphabet-themed play dough mats. Keep an eye out for my free printables as I’m planning on making them available on this site!
How to Store Chocolate Play Dough
To prevent it from drying out, keep the play dough in a freezer bag with all the air removed when it’s not in use. Storing it that way will ensure that it lasts for months!
Chocolate Play Dough
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ¾ cup table salt
- 4 tsp cream of tartar
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Combine flour, cocoa powder, salt and cream of tartar in a medium wok.
- Add water and vegetable oil and stir until combined.
- Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes a ball of dough that no longer sticks to the sides of the wok. This should take no more than 5 minutes.
- Set the play dough aside to cool. Once it’s cool enough, knead it with your hands until smooth. Then, give it to your child to play with!
Related Sensory Activities
Looking for more fun sensory activities to do with your kids? Check out these articles:
- Moon Sand Colour Mixing (Taste-Safe!)
- Water Bead Slime
- Stovetop Psyllium Husk Slime (Taste-Safe!)
- Surprise Water Bead Sensory Bag
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