Make Your Own Glow in the Dark Play Dough Recipe Tutorial

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How to Make Glow in the Dark Play Dough Recipe – Plus a Dye Free Option!

We are big fans of sensory play in this house (join our Sensory Ideas for Kids Facebook group here!) and homemade play dough and magnetic slime are BIG hits – we always have them in stock! (as well as our homemade kinetic sand recipe)

Glow in the Dark Play Dough Recipe for Kids

This recipe doesn’t just glow in the dark! It has a long lasting shelf life, the texture is super soft, it doesn’t have that overpowering salt factor AND it glows in the dark! How cool is that!?

PSSST – We have an even EASIER AWESOME glow in the dark chalk recipe here!

Glow in the Dark Play Dough - Glow 2 TAGGED

You will get a roughly one pound ball of dough from the measurements below. Repeat the process with different food coloring to make an assortment of colors to choose from.

If you decide to skip food coloring thanks to dye allergies, increase the amount of glitter and the glow medium used will give it a subtle green hue in the dark.

(You can buy glow in the dark craft paint HERE online or in a craft store to make your glow in the dark play dough REALLY pop like our photo!)

Glow in the Dark Play Dough Ingredients:

Glow in the dark play dough supplies

½ cup flour
½ cup water
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup salt
1 TBSP vegetable oil
¼ cup *Glow Medium Craft Paint (Check the bottle to ensure no dyes were added. Most brands are non-toxic and dye free. If it is any color other than a pale neon green – dyes have been added.)
food coloring (optional)
essential oil for smell

Glow in the Dark Play Dough Directions:

Glow in the dark play dough step - 2

1. Put flour, water, cream of tartar, salt and oil in a pan on the stove.

2. Turn the burner on medium/low and begin mixing.

Glow in the dark play dough step - 3

3. Once it becomes a smooth consistency, add food coloring (optional) and glow in the dark paint.

4. Mix continuously until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and remove from heat.

5. Cool until it is safe to handle and then knead dough for a few seconds.

Glow in the dark play dough step - 6

6. Fold in glitter. Be careful – this can make a mess!

7. Charge in sunlight or under a lamp for 5 minutes for strongest effects.

8. Play! If you want to increase the “glow in the dark” factor I highly recommend using a black light for a really strong glow, but this will still glow in the dark without it! You may need to “charge” your play dough by holding it up to a very bright light for about 15-20 seconds before checking it out in the dark.

*Store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. If dough begins to dry out, revive it by kneading in a few drops of water.

If you loved this DIY recipe idea you’ll love our Homemade Puffy Paint and DIY Non-toxic Art Sand – both of which are edible, although I don’t recommend eating it! It won’t taste good! It’s a great option for younger children and special needs children who may accidentally ingest some of the materials.

FREE Printable Play Dough Mats:

Apples & Counting
Christmas themed

Looking for even MORE sensory ideas for kids? Check out the Sensory Ideas for Kids Facebook page or:

Sensory Ideas for Kids GROUP

Sensory Ideas for Babies GROUP

DIY Giant Bubbles Recipe and ActivitiesDIY dinosaur egg dig

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  1. Christine says:

    Glow in the dark play dough

    Hi there! I love your glow in the dark play dough recipe and found that it is truly so soft. Do you have a similar recipe without using the paint? I tried this recipe and replaced the glow paint with regular white craft paint and it didn’t work. It wasn’t smooth or dough like. I look forward to hearing back from you!


  2. Can I make this without the glow in the dark medium and then give the kids a lump of the cooled dough, some of the glow in the dark medium, and a few drops of food coloring and have them knead it all together? Do the food coloring and the glow in the dark medium have to be added while the dough is hot?

    1. I’ve never tried it that way! I don’t see why you couldn’t although it might be more difficult to evenly and thoroughly mix in – maybe messier then? Let me know if you try it!

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