Gluten Free Play-Doh Alternatives

Playing with traditional Play-Doh is very dangerous for a young celiac patient. Play-Doh can be easily ingested from the fingers or fingernails. Check out some of our favorite Play-Doh alternatives!

by | Jan 20, 2020

I was surprised when I found out Play-Doh contains gluten. I had honestly never thought about what it was made of before. This information made me reconsider all of N’s craft supplies because there is no room for gluten in our gluten free home. As you can imagine, between contaminating her hands and nails, the risk for accidental ingestion is high. Toddlers love to put their fingers in their mouths. Additionally, any surface it touched would need to be thoroughly cleaned to prevent contamination. We knew we had to find an alternative. Here are N’s new favorite gluten free Play-Doh alternatives!

Crayola Model Magic

This is one of N’s favorites. It comes in many colors and is easily found at Target, Walmart, Amazon and most craft stores. It is modeling clay, so be sure to keep it in an airtight container between uses or it will dry out! View on Amazon

Kinetic Sand

While not all that similar to Play-Doh, it does provide a gluten free sensory experience that N loves. She often drives her Matchbox cars through it and it definitely gets everyday use in our home. We buy the large bags of the plain sand and store in a container between uses. View On Amazon

Homemade Gluten Free Dough

There are many recipes for this available online. We made this one. N loved playing with this but it is no longer allowed in our home due to safety risks for our dogs. It is extremely toxic and potentially deadly to dogs so beware if you have them in your home! The first time we made it, one of our dogs ended up in the emergency vet after eating a glob of it. I’m keeping it on the list though because this won’t be an issue for everyone and N loved it. It’ll be the most like real Play-Doh.

Aroma Dough (Untested)

We haven’t tried this one yet because it costs quite a bit more. That said, it gets great reviews on Amazon! It contains all natural ingredients, including colorings and it’s made in the USA. We’ll hopefully be ordering some to try soon. View On Amazon


Between the Model Magic and Kinetic Sand, N keeps herself busy, even without the Play-Doh! We may be trying the Aroma Dough in the near future, but for now the options we have seem to suffice! Have you found any great Play-Doh alternatives? Let me know in the comments!


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Find a local resource through ROCK (Raising our Celiac Kids) and the National Celiac Association.

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