yellow flowers in grass

Learn how to make homemade playdough using dandelions from your backyard and simple ingredients in your pantry. 

One of the earliest signs of spring, dandelions can often be found in abundance wherever grass is growing from early spring and throughout the summer. Although the pop of bright yellow can be a welcome sign of spring, they can quickly become a nuisance and are often considered to be a pesky weed. 

Dandelions are more than a weed, however. Did you know that dandelions are edible? These vibrant yellow flowers have excellent health benefits and medicinal properties. They’re rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like iron and calcium. I will not go into all of that here, but if you are interested, this blog post explores the benefits of dandelions, plus has a recipe for dandelion salve.

No matter what you think of these tiny yellow flowers, they are a wonderful addition to homemade playdough. Adding natural elements such as dandelions to playdough evokes wonder and curiosity in children and makes for a really fun experience. The dandelion petals also act as a natural dye creating a vibrant yellow playdough. 

What are the benefits of playing with playdough?

1. Imagination: Playing with playdough gives children an opportunity to use their imagination as they turn a ball of dough into animals, cookies, buildings, and so on. The addition of something like flowers sparks curiosity and invites children to explore the natural world even more. 

2. Sensory Stimulation: Playing with playdough stimulates the senses and promotes sensory exploration. Adding dandelion flowers to the playdough only increases this experience through the addition of more color, texture, and fragrance. 

3. Fine motor skills: The motions of pushing, pulling, squeezing, rolling, chopping, and cutting playdough strengthen the muscles in the hands and fingers. This builds find motor skills and prepares children to hold a pencil and write. 

Why make your own playdough?

Playdough is remarkably easy to make yourself using ingredients that you most likely already have in your pantry. I love to make homemade play dough for several reasons. 

1. I know exactly what is in it. It is made with simple, edible ingredients. I love knowing that if little ones do decide to eat some of it, I know exactly what they are eating and I don’t have to worry about them consuming artificial dyes or yucky ingredients. 

2. It’s relatively inexpensive. Homemade playdough is basically three ingredients: flour, salt, and cream of tartar. Those ingredients are so inexpensive, making it incredibly cost effective to make your own playdough.

3. Endless combinations of color , fragrance, and texture. When you make your own playdough there are endless variations to the things that you can add in such as flowers, essential oils or spices. 

yellow playdough and yellow flowers

What are the ingredients needed for playdough?

To make dandelion playdough at home you will need:

Flour – I keep a cheap, inexpensive flour on hand for making playdough, but you can use whatever you have in your pantry. Keep in mind that if you use a whole wheat or gluten free flour blend it will effect the texture of your playdough and you may have to adjust the amount of flour and your liquid ratios accordingly. 

Salt – Here again, I keep inexpensive table salt on hand for projects like this. 

Cream of tartar – This is the magic ingredient in playdough. Cream of tartar gives the playdough that smooth, elastic texture. Trust me, if you omit the cream of tartar the playdough will not come together and will end up being a blob of flour and water dough. 

Coconut oil or vegetable oil – Oil keeps the dough moist and pliable. 

Water – Water is the liquid that brings everything together. 

Dandelions – You will need about 1/2 – 3/4 cups fresh dandelions for this recipe. 

How do you make dandelion playdough?

First, you will want to start by gathering the dandelions. Kiddos will be delighted to be included in this process and help pick the flowers. It’s helpful to choose bigger blossoms if you can. 

Once you have gathered enough flowers, chop off the stem or “bowl” portion of the flower so that you only have the dandelion petals remaining. You can pluck them out too, if you prefer. Place the dandelion petals in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Allow to steep for 1-2 minutes. This will help to soften them and draw out the color. Strain off the liquid, saving it for the playdough. 

In a small sauce pan, combine the dry ingredients and whisk together. Mix in water (including the water from the flower petals), oil, and flower petals. Stir over medium heat until the mixture thickens and comes together. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Knead well. 

Totally optional, but add a few drops of yellow food coloring if desired to make a brighter yellow dandelion play dough. 

Dandelion playdough should be stored in an airtight bag or container and will stay fresh for 1-2 weeks.

Dandelion playdough is a fun activity and a simple way to enjoy nature and the beauty of the spring season. Be sure and let me know if you try it!

Click HERE for the printable recipe.

Related: Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies From Scratch; Finding Rest in Motherhood When Your Feel Overwhelmed; Easy Ways to Stock a Pantry on a Budget

yellow playdough with dandelions on a table

Homemade Dandelion Playdough

This vibrant yellow, glossy smooth playdough with specks of dandelion petals will delight children of all ages.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 TB coconut oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup fresh dandelion flowers
  • yellow food coloring, optional


  • Cut the "bowl" or stem portion of the the dandelion flower, leaving just the petals. You can use your hands to pluck it off too.
  • Place all of the dandelion petals in a small bowl and pour 1/4 cup very hot water over the petals. Allow to steep for 1-2 minutes.
  • In a small sauce pan, whisk together flour, salt, and cream of tartar.
  • Add remaining water, coconut oil, and flower petals with water.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and form a ball, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool. Knead well.
  • Optional: add a few drops of yellow food coloring or essential oils.
  • Store in airtight container for 1-2 weeks.

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