Homemade Real Lemon Playdough – Instant Sunshine!

The other day we made this bright and wonderfully lemon scented playdough! As you might already know if you follow us, Penguin loves the taste of lemons, so I thought this should be a hit. Also, the scent of lemons is a great spirit lifter, and I think we can all do with one of those now and then! The yellow colour is certainly cheerful too, and feels very right for this time of year, with all the daffodils, Easter decorations, and the warm spring sunshine (though we haven’t had too much of that so far this year, right?!).

So, here’s how we made it:

Making Homemade Real Lemon Playdough - Instant Sunshine! - Sensational Learning with Penguin


We started by getting all the ingredients out:

  • One lemon
  • 2 cupsΒ of flour
  • 1 sachet/tsp of Cream of Tartar
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • approx 1,5 cups of water (if it’s really hot when you add it, you probably won’t need to cook the dough at all, though we did so, very briefly)
  • Yellow food colouring (optional, but necessary if you want that sunny colour!)

First job was to zest the lemon, which was something Penguin helped with really well (although he kept thinking he was done after every seven strokes or so). That smell of zest is just amazing, I can’t get enough of it.


Then we squeezed all the juice out of the fruit. Great hand strengthening exercise by the way. Squeeeezing! It made about half a cup of lemon juice.

We put all the dry ingredients (flour, salt and Cream of Tartar) in a saucepan and gave them a stir, then added the lemon zest and juice along with water and a few drops of food colouring. Didn’t it make a lovely looking mess?


When stirring it together, I felt it was a little bit too hard/dry, so added a bit more water. If you on the other hand would end up with a mix that is well too wet, add some flour. You can also work in more colouring if you feel it’s needed.

Once it all comes together into a lump (which doesn’t take long!), get it out of the saucepan and kneed it with your hands for a little bit. Then your good to go!

Penguin loves the feel of warm playdough (who doesn’t?) so was keen to get his hands on it right away. The scent however is more delicious once it’s cooled down. Penguin’s first thought was to use the (still zesty) grater to make an exciting texture in the dough, very tactile! I went on to make an Easter themed playdough mat, with a lot of potentially yellow areas. That’s in our next post!



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59 thoughts on “Homemade Real Lemon Playdough – Instant Sunshine!

  1. This is just great. I’m not keen on getting play dough from the shops as my daughter (only 13 months) loves putting things in her mouth but this is a fantastic alternative #GlobalBlogging

    Soffy // themumaffairs.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! That’s one of the things I love about homemade stuff, that you know for sure what’s in it. Penguin has always been keen on tasting playdough, whether shop bought or homemade πŸ™„πŸ˜…x


    1. Thank you! Yes, you could use essential oils, spices, essences or whatever you like really πŸ™‚ (We’ve done mint, gingerbread, and cinnamon before – they’re in a different blog post πŸ˜‰) x


      1. Haha! Love the idea of pink lemonade πŸ‘πŸ˜€ And now they now what colour you get when mixing pink with green πŸ’©πŸ˜† I’m so happy to hear they (and you) enjoyed it! πŸ’•


    1. Thank you Nicola! Yes, it’s really simple, and IF anyone would decide to taste a little, there are no harmful chemicals in it (though due to the high salt content you should avoid eating large amounts, of course 😝). Give it a go, it’s almost impossible to fail πŸ‘x


  2. I love the smell of lemons too! I’m going to have to try this! Thank you so much for linking up to #KidsandKreativity, I hope you come back next time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, well you wouldn’t be the first one who’d been tempted to give it a little tasting, as at least one other mum has commented here about it ☺️ But it doesn’t taste as lovely as it smells, unfortunately (very salty 😝). I love lemon too, both the scent and flavour of lemons are amazing! πŸ‹πŸ‘Œ


  3. Ooooh my lot LOVE lemons too – they often have lemon juice on meals as if it’s tomato ketchup so I reckon this would be a big hit in our household too so will have to bookmark it. I agree with you about the scent of the zest of a lemon – so uplifting! #thesatsesh xx

    Liked by 1 person

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