Wholegrain Play Dough Recipe and Bakery Role-Play

Here’s a recipe for wholegrain play dough which has a wonderful texture and is perfect for baking imaginative play!

We adore play dough in our home for all of it’s wonderful developmental and educational benefits, as well as being easy to set up and a great time filler on rainy days. It also leads to wonderful imaginative play, with many opportunities for language development and storytelling, so is just perfect with preschoolers.
This week we made some wholegrain play dough to experience a new texture in our dough and to extend the pretend play possibilities to include a bakery and cooking play!

Here’s the recipe we used:
2 cups wholegrain flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tbsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1.5 cups boiling water

Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Stir in the boiling water and keep mixing until it comes together well and becomes a little harder to mix. Turn it onto the surface and knead it for 3-4 minutes. As you knead it will lose its stickiness and became soft, smooth and pliable. If still too sticky add a little more flour until just right.

We laid out muffin tins, small casserole dishes, rolling pins, plastic knives, a mini loaf tin and some bowls of seeds. We used pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and poppy seeds as these are often used while baking real bread.

 They loved exploring the texture and the wonderfully evocative bread-like smell as they played.

The seeds were investigated and tasted, forming a healthy snack as well as providing some dexterity practise while using them to decorate the bread.

We even had a go at plaiting some loaves and Cakie rolled and twisted dough to make pretzels.

The imaginative play developed naturally as they played. First they just explored the dough and seeds, then they rolled bread rolls and formed loaves and seasoned them. They took them off to bake ten in the oven, which on this occasion was the space under the art easel. It’s somewhere different each time, even though they have a real toy oven!

Then Cakie pulled out the yellow play dough and used it to make butter to spread on her freshly baked bread, using a knife. We were all served our food and had an indoor picnic, delish!

The beautiful scene of focused, imaginative, intentional play!

Learning Links:

  • creativity: using imagination to take on a role and character, using one item to represent another in play
  • literacy: storytelling through imaginative play, learning and using new vocabulary, following instructions 
  • maths: cunning out ingredients, sorting and matching, filling containers/ compartments, weighing etc 
Cakie: 3 years 9 months
Pop: 2 years 2 months
Bean: 16 weeks

Never miss another play activity idea!
 Sign up to have each post delivered direct to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


  1. says

    Beautiful pictures, I love the idea of incorporating all the seeds and textures into the dough. A play dough bakery is one of the things on my list of things to do with my girls after the popularity of the cake shop, you’ve inspired me to get on and have a go with this idea.

  2. Nathalie says

    Just a question. Do you really need the cream of tartar to make the playdough or can I omit it? I have no idea where to get some where I live….

  3. says

    Oh my that looks like every pretend baker’s dream. I REALLY need to take a leaf our of your book and become more adventurous with our playdough play!


  4. says

    This is so cool! I love that you used real ingredients for the kids to play with! We are loving the invitations to play at our house! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  5. says

    This is SO awesome!! Your photos are amazing, the play dough looks amazing, the idea for playdough play is amazing. I just love your ideas and can’t wait to give this one a try some day soon! :)

  6. Ina says

    Nice !! I live in France, what can I replace the tartar with cause it cannot be found easily.