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Wheat Free Playdough?

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We've a 2yr old who started this term with a long list of things she's allergic to, including wheat & gluten. In terms of snack, sharing birthday cake, and parties, we're working with parents and think we're ok.


But playdough is more of a challenge...! Commercial Play-Doh does contain wheat gluten so is out. Our basic flour & water playdough is of course also out. I do have a couple of recipes for cornflour based playdoughs, and parents have said cornflour is ok.


Does anyone have experience with recipes that work in preschools (ie, with larger amounts of children than you'd have at home!)


We will only use the playdough ok for her when she's in, but if it's not the easiest playdough to use, may have to use ordinary playdough on the days she's not in and make sure we wash up all the equipment.

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we had a little girl who had wheat and gluten intolerance and we simply switched our recipe for playdough-we always make our own playdough as it is so simple to make, the children love making it themselves and we know exactly what is going in it.

I can't remember the exact website I got last recipe from but think this is pretty much it:

Wheat Free Playdough




* 225g/2 cups rice flour.

* 225g/2 cups salt (makes it unpalatable to eat).

* 15 ml/1 tbsp cream of tartar.

* 30 ml/2 tbsp sunflower oil.

* 250 ml/1 cup water.

* 3 tablespoons of oil (any cheap cooking oil).

* A few drops of food colouring (optional).


How to make it


1. Mix the flour, salt and cream of tartar in a saucepan.

2. Add the oil and gradually blend in the water and food colouring, if using.

3. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until mixture is stiff and leaves the sides of the pan clean.

4. Leave until cool enough to handle, then knead gently on the work surface until smooth. Store in airtight container.


Recipe reprinted with permission, taken from Your Allergy Free Diet Plan for Babies & Children by Carol Humphries, Foulsham & Co., 2003.

We added all sorts of other flavourings/colourings/sparkles etc so it was still as interesting and think we just used wheat and gluten free flour. We found that the playdough didn't last as long but it was easier to use wheat and gluten free playdough all the time as swapping playdough could contaminate your playdough tools/toys so it could save you worrying. We swapped all our rice and pasta that we play with too and only bought wheat and gluten free flour for other cooking activities-it may have been more expensive but we felt a lot less stressed about it all. Turns out our little girl is now ok with gluten and wheat as mum has been introducing more foods as she is less sensitive which is great but was a good learning curve for us all and made us all more aware of how to support extreme dietary needs.

Hope that helps

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We have a child with Ceaoliac (sp?) disease and we are also looking into new playdo recipes for pre-school (where he is registered) as well as the foundation class and year 1 class in the unit as we have free flow throughout all areas.


The only problem I can see in our case with using two different recipes is....


if you use 'ordinary' playdo and there is some left on the cutters/rolling pins (as is often the case) and this particular child then puts then in his mouth/gets some on his fingers and then sucks them..... this might be enough to set off the immune difficulty.


We are working with the parents and this is new to me, but they have to use seperate butter dishes so there is no cross contamination with bread crumbs when buttering bread! It can take such a minute amount to cause a reaction - perhaps unlike other allergies.


This is very new to me so please put me right if necessary! :o


And let me know how the recipes go! I would ideally like a non-cook recipe.

xD:(:(:( :wacko:

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could you use clay or plasticine instead?


what suggestions has the parent got?


We've found in the past clay & plasticene are great for the slightly older children with better fine motor skills - but not so good for the younger children & those with not such strong finger muscles. Of course soft squidgy playdough is great for stengthening finger muscles...


I got the impression they haven't used any at home, will check again.

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Used salt & cornflour mix today - not a good mix! Went very sticky like cornflour gloop with glue in it... Not sure how long it will take me to get it out of my hair!


Child in question put 1 finger in it, said 'yuck!' & had me scrape his finger off, though her twin spent while with it. Had some lovely language from our older ones, one lad said it was 'porridge'. So not a failure... but not a success either.


ExtraordinaryChicken, amusingly enough, the recipes I had, I've had for about 5 years, since the child's elder sibling was on our waiting list - by the time she started, he'd outgrown the wheat problem & we've not had another till now! I'll get some rice flour & check what oils are safe to use & try your recipe.


mps09, cross- contamination can be such a problem. Had a child with nut allergy & some of the milk from mum's crunchy nut cornflakes splashed on her arm, instant reaction. We do wash the playdough stuff up well at the end of the week, and have got a lot of stuff so we could if needed designate one box safe & one not.


At the moment, we've got so many new 2 year olds, they just need to be exploring the texture and reactions of dough anyway. (I am the mean teacher who rarely allows rollers & cutters with the dough. Because we've so many who then give up & ask a teacher or student to 'roll it for me'. :o )

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Hi This is the first post I have put on so I hope it is OK.


We had a child who had very severe coeliac (has now gone to school) and

we made special gluten free playdough. We also checked with Mum that the

ingrediants we used were suitable. Recipe as follows:


400g (1 cup) of rice flour plus 400g (1 cup) of cornflour

400g (1 cup) salt

4 teaspoons of cream of tartar

800 ml (2 cups) water

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Food colouring


In a large saucepan mix all the ingrediants with a whisk to get rid of any lumps.

Gently heat for 5 minutes or so, stirring to make sure no lumps form (just like making

a roux!) and eventually the mixture will become firm. Allow the mixture to cool slightly,

then knead the mixture for a couple of minutes, to ensure there are no lumps.


We used this playdough for all our children.


Hope this if of help

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