Here are a variety of easy recipes for making scented play doughs perfect for Summer! With scents like lemonade, cotton candy, and watermelon, these dough varieties perfectly capture the essence of the season.
Now that the sweetness of Summer is here I was excited to create a variety of scented doughs for Rosie and Jewel to use to play and explore. We pull at least one of these out almost daily and often explore with many of them throughout the day!
To make Watermelon Dough you will need:
- Baking Soda
- A packet of watermelon Kool Aid
- Optional: Beans and green pasta noodles
Add the desired amount of baking soda to your container. Then, slowly add water. You want the dough to be slightly damp and moldable, but not TOO wet. If you add too much water the baking soda will begin to transform to a liquid, so be sure to add the water slowly. Once you have the desired texture mix in one packet of watermelon Kool-Aid. If desired, finish off your watermelon dough with green pasta noodles and beans to act as seeds
You could easily substitute other materials for seeds and rind. Add a few drops of food coloring for more vibrant color if desired.
Orange Creamsicle Dough
This is Rosie's favorite dough, probably because of the fun ice cream props and pretend play elements. It is one of my favorites because of the amazing aroma of orange cream.
To make Orange Creamsicle Dough you will need:
- Baking soda
- Orange cream frosting powder (found in the baking aisle near the frosting)
- Ice cream props and cotton balls (optional)
Make the orange creamsicle dough just like the watermelon dough, only using orange cream frosting powder instead of the watermelon Kool-aid.
I added a few real ice cream cones, scoopers, and cotton balls. I also always give the girls cups, bowls, and spoons on the side to add to their pretend play ice cream shop. They love this sensory dough!
Add a few drops of food coloring for more vibrant color. This isn't necessary at all- I just love vibrant colors!
Cotton Candy Dough
Nothing says Summer like the smell of cotton candy floating through the air. One whiff and I am instantly transformed to one of many childhood trips to the the boardwalk, a neighborhood carnival, or an amusement park.
To make Cotton Candy Dough you will need:
- Baking Soda
- Cotton Candy Frosting Creations powder (found in the baking aisle)
- Pom poms (optional)
- Food coloring (optional)
Make cotton candy dough exactly the same way as watermelon dough only adding cotton candy scented frosting powder to the baking soda and water mixture instead of Kool-Aid. I also made a batch of pink, unscented dough so that I could put it all together and capture the real essence of cotton candy. I colored the dough pink using neon food coloring. You could also use liquid watercolors.
I added pink and blue pom poms to give our dough a bit of texture. I also love how the pom poms capture the fluffiness of real cotton candy. As the girls have played the colors have swirled together quite beautifully.
Lemonade Sensory Dough
What is Summer without lemonade? With this sensory dough kids can set up a pretend play lemonade shop and make all sorts of cakes, treats, and beverages, too!
To make Lemonade Dough you will need:
- Baking soda
- Lemonade Kool-Aid packet
- Cups, bowls, and kitchen gadgets (optional)
- Seeds for added texture (optional)
Mix your baking soda and water with a lemonade Kool-Aid packet. You can add a few drops of yellow food coloring for extra vibrant color if desired. Toss in lemon seeds or similar (we used sesame seeds from our pantry) to give your dough added texture. Add cups, bowls, and other kitchen gadgets for even more fun.
S'more's Sensory Dough
S more's are definitely one of my favorite parts of Summer! I have many fond memories of sitting by a fire roasting marshmallows.
To make S more Sensory Dough you will need:
- Baking soda
- Chocolate marshmallow frosting powder
- Cotton balls, white glitter, and craft foam (optional)
Mix the chocolate marshmallow frosting powder into your baking soda and water mixture. Add cotton ball marshmallows and brown craft foam squares to act as graham crackers. Glitter makes a fun addition, too!
Storage, Rotation, & Tips
- Make one dough at a time or make them all and easily pull them out when ready for play.
- Store your Summer sensory doughs in an air tight container to prevent them from drying out. We use zip seal bags and/or small storage containers, both purchased from Dollar Tree.
- For the doughs stored in zip seal bags we have an empty bin that we use. We simply pour the dough into the bin, play, and then return it to it's zip seal bag.
- If your dough begins to get hard or dry out a little simply mix it into the rest of the dough. Add a touch more water if needed.
- Getting ready to throw away your dough? Before tossing it why not make some MAGIC? All of the sensory dough recipes we share that are made using baking soda are magic. Give your child a squirt bottle of vinegar to make erupting s more's or fizzing orange creamsicle cones.... SO FUN!
- All of these sensory doughs can also be made following the basic cloud dough recipe. However, I find the baking soda dough to give a much more aromatic result. Besides that, baking soda and water is much cheaper than flour and oil.
To make Summer Cloud Dough varieties you will need:
(ingredients per dough)
- 7 cups of flour
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- 1 cup crushed chalk or powdered tempera paint (for color)
- The kool-aid or frosting powder of your choice
Mix ingredients and PLAY!
For a more detailed example see our pumpkin scented cloud dough and our peppermint scented cloud dough varieties.