DIY - Homemade Gingerbread Playdough

Fun for kids, smells amazing and it makes a great gift!

By Sara Yaniga, publisher of Macaroni Kid Chicago Midtown December 8, 2022

This yummy-smelling homemade DIY gingerbread playdough recipe is perfect to help your kids get into the holiday spirit this season!  Your children will want to help you make this recipe. You very likely already have all the ingredients in your kitchen! Plus, this gingerbread play dough can be an easy homemade holiday gift too!

This gingerbread playdough recipe is simple enough for kids to help with - and so much fun!  You might want to help when it comes to using the stovetop. My three-year-old loved measuring and mixing the ingredients right into the saucepan for me.

Easy Homemade Gingerbread Playdough

This recipe makes about three balls of dough, each about the size of a tennis ball.

What you need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons ginger
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Mix all ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat. 
  2. Keep stirring until the dough changes to a thick lump.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool to the touch.
  4. Knead until smooth.
  5. Store in an airtight container.

This recipe is also easily adaptable by swapping out the spices for another smell you love, like vanilla or peppermint, and adding a little food coloring!

My kids received this gingerbread play dough themselves a few years back from a friend, creatively packaged with tiny cookie cutters, googly eyes, and the book "Gingerbread Baby" by Jan Brett. The set provided hours of imaginative and independent play for our children - and yes, even me! As long as the dough is kept in an airtight container, you can wrap it up any way you like to store or give as a gift.