Sensory dough

Sensory dough

We love playdough, and often make it – it’s so simple to knock up in the kitchen, the kids enjoy the experience of making it before playing and it seems to last better than shop bought versions. 

I wanted to try and create a dough that was suitable for Max too, as traditional play dough recipes tend to irritate his sensitive skin if he plays with it for long, and so this week we tried a really simple, 2 ingredient sensory dough instead.

You will need:

  • 2 cups cornflour
  • 1 cup hair conditioner

That’s it! Mix together to create a dough – I find using my hands the easiest way. You can use any hair conditioner you like – we used a baby conditioner that we know doesn’t irritate Max, but if you don’t have sensitive skin to worry about you can use anything – the beauty of that is that you can choose a lovely scented one for an extra sensory experience. It makes such a soft silky dough that children and adults alike will enjoy using – and it doesn’t leave your hands dry or greasy either!

If you want to colour your dough, add some food colouring at the mixing stage.

Top tip: If you don’t have any food colouring (no, that’s definitely not me, I wouldn’t be that disorganised. Honest) then find some felt tip pens and dot some ink into the dough before kneading through to colour.

The sensory bit:

The thing I love most about this dough is the sensory play it facilitates. The dough is really tactile, and encourages touching, stretching, squashing and rolling. If you use a scented conditioner it is great for smelling, talking about scents and what it reminds us of – you could make dough relating to the season:

Spring dough – use a floral scented conditioner and go for pastel colours

Summer dough – bright yellow, add some gorgeously fruity scents, something like orange makes me think of ice lollies and hot days

Autumn dough – go for an apple scent – a few drops of essential oil would work well. Try orange food colouring for that authentic fallen leaves, pumpkin effect. You could even do a themed Halloween dough – gory green or black, and add some plastic spiders in the play tray.

Winter dough – spice with cinnamon and go for a warm, rich colour – red would work well. Christmas dough could be packed with glitter, get out the Christmas cookie cutters for shape play.

Sensory dough




  1. September 26, 2014 / 11:25 am

    Oh this looks so good! My daughter would still love this even though she’s getting older! xx
    Charli recently posted…Payday WishlistMy Profile

  2. September 26, 2014 / 1:24 pm

    Great minds kate I’ve a draft post using the same recipe, I just discovered it I. Facebook and we had so much fun! It’s super super easy
    Karen recently posted…FriendshipMy Profile

  3. September 26, 2014 / 7:19 pm

    ooh I’ve never heard of dough made with hair conditioner! I’ll pin this for when my little one is a bit older x
    Mummy’s Blog recently posted…Sandwich Bag Finger PaintingMy Profile

  4. Rubee
    September 26, 2014 / 9:53 pm

    When I taught reception I always used to make dough with cornflour and conditioner. I love the feel of it. Your ideas for different season doughs are great.

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