Christmas Tree Play Dough

By OSC on December 15, 2015 in Science Live!, Try This at Home, What's New

This is one of Orlando Science Center educators’ personal favorite play dough recipes. It’s simple, it’s sensory and it’s so easy to make it will have both you and your little learner smiling!


  • Member Monday_December 2015 1393 cups of flour
  • ¾ cup salt
  • 2 tbs cream of tartar
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • Green food coloring
  • 3 cups of water
  • Pine sprigs or a few drops of pine essential oil


  1. Steep the pine sprigs in water ahead of time to add scent or, for a stronger smell, add just a few drops of pine essential oil to the water
  2. Mix the food coloring into the water.
    TIP: This reduces the amount of work it takes to thoroughly mix the color into your dough.
  3. Mix all of the rest of your ingredients together with the water
  4. Put the mixture in a pot on the stove and carefully stir constantly over medium heat until desired consistency is reached
  5. Remove from burner and pot and allow dough to cool
    Remember that the dough continues to cook once you take it off the stove. Keep a close eye on it as it cooks to avoid over-cooking it!
  6. Play!

For extra fun, roll your dough out flat after it has cooled and fold in some glitter!

To incorporate STEM concepts, make this project all about scientific inquiry! Have your child ask questions and make predictions and comparisons.

Some good questions to ask include:

  • How is the dough going to act?
  • What will happen if we throw it on the floor?
  • Can you stretch it?

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