22 Dec 2014
December 22, 2014

Candy Cane Playdough

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To share the holiday spirit, our pediatric patients were given homemade Candy Cane Playdough. In true therapy form, these gifts not only serve as a token of our appreciation, but more so a functional and fun therapeutic activity. Cooking and making crafts are an easy and fun way to practice language skills (e.g., following directions, combining words to make sentences, and describing skills), meet sensory needs (through tactile play), and help to strengthen hand, finger, and forearm muscles.

Candy Cane Playdough Recipe


  • 5 cups water
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 cups salt
  • 3 Tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 10 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Red food coloring
  • Glitter
  • Peppermint extract


To make the candy cane playdough, make two batches of the playdough (or divide the recipe in half), one red and one white. Mix water, salt, cream of tartar, and food coloring in a large pot. Cook on medium-low heat, stir continuously until the mixture becomes hot. Add oil. Add glitter. Add peppermint extract. Stir in flour a cup at a time, mixing in between each addition. Mix until playdough pulls away from the sides of the pot and is no longer sticky. Dump dough on counter, let cool a bit, then knead.