Recipe for White Play Dough

 Make this bright white snow play dough recipe for hours of winter themed sensory play with kids!White sparkly snow play dough
I’ve been wanting to try out making bright white play dough ( or snow dough!)  for a while so we experimented with our usual no-cook recipe to see what we could come up with and it was surprisingly easy to make!
white play dough recipe
The other benefit of this play dough is that it is gluten free!
DIY white snow play dough

Recipe for bright white play dough:

  • 1 cup cornflour (cornstarch in the US)
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup boiling (or nearly boiling) water
  • few drops liquid glycerine (not essential, but makes it even smoother!)
  • silver glitter- optional! (but soooo pretty)


  • Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and add the oil
  • Next, pour in the water (adult only if using boiling) and mix it up
  • Leave it for a little while to cool down, in which time it will come together more
  • Knead it until smooth and soft
  • Add in glitter and any scent (if desired)
  • If it’s too sticky, add some more cornflour
*EDIT*  Lots of people have commented that it worked much better for them to heat the ingredients gently in a pan, stirring until it comes together to form a non-sticky ball. You may wish to just skip straight to doing this and it should work straight away! When it has formed a ball, take it off the heat and put it on the surface to cool. When cool enough, knead it until soft and stretchy, rolling it in oodles of silver glitter to make it sparkle like snow!
Sparkly white snow play dough recipe

 Play Ideas:

  • Roll the white sparkly dough into balls to make snow balls!
  • Build snow men and snow castles and decorate them with buttons, twigs and beads
  • Roll out the dough with a rolling pin and cut out snowflakes and stars using cutters
  • Use it to form part of a small world play snowscape and play with penguins, seals, polar bears etc

Did Cakie want to do any of those lovely ideas I’d had for the dough? Of course not! She wanted to use her own imagination and make glitter-snow-cakes! I love my girl :-)

And pretty gorgeous they were too. She went and found the beads and stars from the Christmas Sensory Tub nearby and added them into the dough as “sprinkles and decorations” for the top of her cakes.

Then she put them all in a baking tray and cooked them in her imaginary oven, allowed them to cool and served them up to Daddy when he got home from work!

This activity is good for:

  • Sensory: exploring materials using the senses
  • Motor Skills: rolling, pinching, flattening, squeezing to develop and strengthen hand muscles
  • Creativity: using materials to represent other things during play, imaginary play, role play
  • Literacy: storytelling and taking on roles and characters through imaginary play
  • Maths: counting out cups and spoons, measuring and quantities, full and empty
  • Knowledge and Understanding of the World: following recipes, role-play bakery, investigating change of materials from dry to sticky to soft

Cakie: 3 years 4 months
Pop: 21 months

See all our PLAYDOUGH RECIPES here

Try our amazingly fun sensory SNOW recipe here!

Follow our CHRISTMAS themed Pinterest board here
Follow Anna @ The Imagination Tree’s board Christmas Ideas on Pinterest.


  1. says

    This is fantastic! usually we have tons of snow here but not this year…my kids are dying to build snowmen! This will be a darling substitute. Thank you!!

  2. says

    Oh this looks fab! I think I might try and make a different play dough every month! I need to start making some scented ones, any tips on what you’ve found to work the best?

    Thanks xx

    • says

      Hi Michelle! Any store bought flavouring/ scent intended for cooking with works really well. But my favourites so far have been the more natural ones such as cinnamon, ginger and lavender. If you look at my Playdough tab at the top then you will see lots of other ideas to try too!

  3. Anonymous says

    Just tried making this with my three year old son and it’s worked out as a runny liquid!! Where’ve we gone wrong? We used cornflour and half cup of salt and cup of boiling water.
    Harry did try adding an oxo stockcube he’d found whilst I came back to computer to check recipe!! But I rescued it out of mix in time!

    • says

      Haha, I had to laugh at the oxo addition!! Hmmm, I’m at a loss as to what could have gone wrong? Was it definitely corn flour you used? Did you add the cream of tartar and the oil? Those are pretty important too. Sorry it didn’t work! Feel somehow responsible!

    • says

      Oh no!! Ours used corn FLOUR so should be a flour-like powdery substance, Very odd that it became liquid. Did you follow the recipe exactly as above? I wish I could make some for you to have! Sorry it didn;t work, but I know it has done for most people.

    • Anonymous says

      Found this on

      “A powdery flour made of finely ground cornmeal, NOT to be confused with cornstarch. The exception is in British and Australian recipes where the term “cornflour” is used synonymously with the U.S. word cornstarch. Corn flour comes in yellow and white and is used for breading and in combination with other flours in baked goods. Corn flour is milled from the whole kernel, while cornstarch is obtained from the endosperm portion of the kernel. Masa Harina is a special corn flour that is the basic ingredient for corn tortillas. White corn flour blends well with other food ingredients and can be blended with wheat flour to reduce gluten for cakes, cookies, pastries and crackers. White corn flour is used as a filler, binder and thickener in cookie, pastry and meat industries.”

      Read more:

  4. Anonymous says

    We tried to ‘rescue’ it by having fun adding more spoonfuls of cornflour and more salt then Harry LOVED keeping on mixing and mixing! It was still quite tacky as we got it out of the bowl and our attempts at making snowmen were funny as they looked like they were melting as soon as made!!
    Harry enjoyed sticking beads and bits into it and he made a car from our ‘off-white!’ dough.

  5. says

    Made the first batch with hot but not boiling water…bad move on my part. I learned from my mistake and tadaaa….it came out PERFECT. 6 batches later…it’s going to be a fun day at pre-school tomorrow. Thank u so much for a wonderful idea.

  6. Anonymous says

    Mine came out runny, too. I’m in the U.S. so I wonder if Corn flour and Corn starch are not equivalent. We saved it by adding flour until it was a nice consistency. It’s wonderful; very silky, not sticky at all (even two weeks later). Thanks!

  7. says

    We also made this and ended up with liquid. I left it to cool as instructed and came back to cool runny liquid lol! I’d followed the recipe faithfully and my daughters were so excited to be making play dough. So I poured it into a saucepan and stirred it for a few minutes over a very low heat – voila! Now we have play dough.

  8. Anonymous says

    Thank you so much for this great recipe. I am going to make it this morning. :) Just to let you know, you seem to have missed out when to add the glycerine in the method section.

  9. Mike says

    From Canada. We are just making up our first batch, but are having the same problem as others above. We used water fresh from a boiled kettle and corn starch, but the playdough was just thick soup. Heating it on the pan really helped save the day! We’ve peppermint scented it for a Christmas present and the kitchen smells great. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. says

    I made this and found that I had to add more corn starch first to reduce stickiness, then I put in the pan on medium and when I kneaded it, I added a bit more. I think you could add food coloring and make a red batch and then green batch. Then put in small containers with small Christmas cookie cutters and pass out as a gift for your children’s friends. :)

  11. says

    I just made this today. I doubled the batch and I will say that when I added two cups, it was very runny, but then I ended up using a whole box of corn (16oz) and it was perfect!! We had a great time today with this and can’t wait to pull it out tomorrow to play with again! Ashley-Arizona