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Teatime Crafts: Tea Scented Play Dough

Tea Play Dough

Here’s a new flavor for a classic playtime activity. Manipulating play dough is already a sensory experience but adding the color and aroma of tea to our make-it-yourself recipe increases the pleasure for children as well as adults. Most of these ingredients are items in the cupboard so this can be a quick-fix rainy-day activity.



  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 2 cups strongly brewed tea
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Food coloring, if desired


In a large saucepan, whisk together the dry ingredients then add the liquids. Continue to whisk until the slurry is smooth. Then put the pan over a low heat and stir until it begins to gather into a ball. This takes 5-10 minutes. (Some have adapted this for a slow cooker but the cooking time is considerably longer.)

Turn the dough out onto a counter or breadboard and knead it as you would knead bread dough until it is very smooth. This is a good time to add color and scented oils so you may want to knead with plastic gloves. Store in a covered or sealed container for about 2 weeks.

Knead it again when you’re ready to use it again.

Some suggestions for tea flavors:

  • Mint herbal tea
  • Orange spice black tea
  • Chai black tea with Spices
  • Rooibos herbal tea
  • Hibiscus herbal tea (also adds color)
  • Berry blends with tea
  • Green tea with matcha powder
  • Lemon tea with lemon juice

Projects & playtime suggestions:

By adding color and aroma, children enjoy using this tea scented and colored play dough to make food items. This makes it an especially good “pretend” teatime craft. Varying the color quickly suggests certain vegetables and fruits. Spice scents are easy to imagine as cookies and cakes.