When is gingerbread, not gingerbread? When it's gingerbread play-dough!

December 13, 2017

As childcare educators, we love Christmas! It means we get to teach kids lots of real world skills- measuring, following instructions, safety around hot things as well as strengthening their fingers for writing in the future... and we do this through gingerbread making.


Are you, like us, are limited as to what you can cook (whether through facilities, time or inclination) and really not crazy about all the high amounts of sugar involved in gingerbread making? Do you still want to provide the kids with all the creative fun that real gingerbreads do? 


Why not try no-cook gingerbread play dough? It only takes 4-minutes to make and has endless learning possibilities. 


It's very easy to make and colouring the play dough with a bit of brown food dye and scenting it with spices turns it into a real sensory expedition for kids. And, unlike their edible counterparts, these gingerbread projects can be kept for years and displayed every Christmas season.


Here's what you need to make some really soft and easy to work with dough: 


No-cook play gingerbread play dough recipe

  • 2 cups plain flour (all purpose)

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup salt

  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar

  • 1tsp ginger

  • 1tsp cinnamon

  • Up to 1.5 cups boiling water (add a little at a time until it feels just right)

  • food colouring (optional)

  • few drops glycerine (optional- adds more shine!)


  1. Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar, spices and oil in a large mixing bowl

  2. Add the food colouring to the boiling water. Mix together and then add slowly to the dry ingredients

  3. Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough

  4. Add the glycerine (optional)

  5. Allow it to cool down then take it out of the bowl and knead it vigorously for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness has gone. This is the most important part of the process, so keep at it until it’s the perfect consistency! Add a touch more flour if it remains a little sticky 

Once the dough has cooled down, use a rolling pin and cookie cutters to make your desired shapes. Decorate with buttons, ribbons, pasta... anything! 


Once the kids have finished, remove the decorations and store in an air tight container for at least 6 months. 


The benefits of using play dough for young children are wonderful and the play possibilities are endless! Happy 'baking'! 










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