How to Make Bright White Playdough: Plus 9 Mix-in Ideas


Learn how to make bright white playdough for your winter learning activities. Plus you will find a bunch of ideas for creative mix-ins to make your white playdough extra special.

Are you looking for some winter fine motor activity ideas for your kids?  Today I have some tips and tricks to help you make bright white playdough that makes perfect snow for snowman playdough activities, winter playdough trays, and wonderful playdough kits.

Plus, I’ll share an idea that came to me while I was cooking some lasagna for my family.

How to make white playdough plus 9 mix-in ideas.

Recipe for Snow White Playdough

Okay, first things first.  Before you can mix cool things into your white playdough….you first have to make white playdough.

I started with my quick playdough recipe.  If you make the recipe without adding any food coloring, you will get creamy-colored playdough.

Here is what you need:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 5 Tbsp cream of tartar
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp of white tempera paint

How to Mix it Up

To make the dough color brighter and whiter, I added white tempera paint as I stirred up the playdough.  I find that the tempera that is NOT labeled washable provides better results for both art projects and playdough coloring.  It seems to be packed with more pigment.

I recommend adding 2-3 tablespoons of paint to your dough ingredients, and then add more if needed. After kneading the snowy white dough on my countertop, I found that it had a nice, fluffy texture.

It reminded me of marshmallow fluff! The texture was seriously DELIGHTFUL!

How to Make Your DIY Playdough MORE Exciting

You can make your snow dough even more exciting by adding some mix-ins to it.  Let your kids help mix the materials into the white playdough to give them some extra opportunities for building hand strength.

The mix-ins also provide a wonderful winter sensory experience.  Here are some fun materials that you can add to your homemade white playdough.

Add Foil to Playdough

Sometimes the ideas for activities that I share on this website hit me at the strangest times.

The other night I was inspired while cleaning up after a delicious New Years’ Eve dinner of lasagna.  I grabbed the box of foil to cover the leftover lasagna.  When I pulled the sheet of foil, I got a short piece….too small to cover my lasagna pan.  While standing in my kitchen with the short piece of foil from the end of the roll, I began to think about mixing the foil into playdough.

I gave it a try…and it’s kind of a cool combination.  I took the small sheet of foil and inserted it into our paper shredder.  Out came wonderful little shreds of foil.  I kneaded some of the shreds into the foil and voila ….and an interesting new sensory experience.

Foil was quickly added to my grocery list…so I could continue to play and experiment with this fun material. I think it would also be really cool to use these foil shreds with black playdough.

Add stripes of foil to your white playdough.

Add Fake Snow to Playdough

Fake snow (you know…the kind that people sprinkle on their Christmas Village set-up) is great for many winter sensory activities.  We mixed some with our white playdough and it created a pretty sparkle and an interesting texture.

Add fake snow to your white playdough.

Make Glittery White Playdough

We moved from Ohio to Texas about 4 years ago.  I certainly don’t miss the cold temperatures, slick roads, or the salt residue on my new shoes.  But, every winter I do miss the beauty of snow.  I love how freshly fallen snow sparkles in the morning sunshine.

You can give your playdough a little bit of this effect by mixing in some glitter.  Iridescent or blue glitter works well.  A really fine glitter creates a beautiful sparkle and will be the perfect touch to a child’s snowman creation.

Add glitter to your white playdough.

Additional Mix-in Ideas

In addition to shreds of foil, fake snow, and glitter, here are some additional fun mix-ins to try with your white playdough.

  • Tinsel – similar to my Christmas Playdough, use silver or white tinsel.
  • Yarn or string –   Cut small shreds of yarn or string and mix them in.
  • Sand- Use white or blue sand to create a gritty texture.
  • Foam balls –  Shredd up some packing foam or get a bag of foam balls in the slime area of your craft store.
  • Sequins – Sequins come in all shapes and sizes.   Experiment and have fun.
  • White or iridescent seed beads.
  • Peppermint essential oil – Add a few drops of fragrant essential oil to create an additional sensory experience.
Watch your children explore and create with their white playdough.

Now that you have mixed up a batch of winter white playdough and added some fun mix-ins, you are ready to add it to the fun activities in your learning centers.  The dough is perfect to use with a winter playdough tray or to add a winter twist to the playdough mats in your math or literacy centers.

You can use your white playdough in your literacy centers.

I am actually eating the last of the lasagna leftovers as I type this.  Will more ideas hit me as I eat the last few bites?  I hope so…and I’ll be sure to share them if they do.

I hope that you and your kids enjoy mixing up some wintery white playdough.  Do you have additional ideas for fun mix-ins?  I would love to hear about them.

Playdough Mats

To purchase the playdough mats pictured in this post, click on the images below.