Cookie Play Dough Recipe

ball of cookie dough with colored icing

There are lots of ways we can use play dough for learning. Then I thought, why not just use cookie dough?! It’s already safe to play with and edible. This recipe is easy for the kids to make and smells delicious. If you’ve followed me for a while you would know that I am at war against sugar. My recipes are always low sugar and I never use artificial sweeteners. This cookie play dough recipe has only 2 tablespoons of sugar.

For Chinese learning, you can use this recipe to model Chinese characters, paint Chinese character cookies, stamp characters into the dough, and even use the dough with moon cake molds.

Additional play ideas can include cookie cutters to make shapes, forks to make patterns, toothpicks to poke holes, butter knife to practice cutting, a rolling pin for flattening. All of these tools help to develop children’s fine motor skills.

Low Sugar Cookie Play Dough Recipe

Dough Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup softened butter (room temp, not melted)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • food coloring (optional)
  • Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried lavender, lemon zest

Icing Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp milk


  1. In a big bowl, mix all the flour, sugar, baking powder, butter, and vanilla together with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  2. If you want to make a colored dough, separate the dough into as many colors as you have. Start with a drop of food coloring for each section of dough. Knead the dough by hand to mix in the colors. This should be fun for the kids.
  3. At this point, kids can start playing with the dough. you can add the optional toppings. Use sparingly if you are planning to eat these. Too much lavender is not yummy.
  4. When ready to bake, place your cookie creations on a pan and bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Cool completely before icing.

Cookie Icing Recipe

Mix the powdered sugar with the milk. Divide into little dishes and add a drop or two of food coloring. Kids can use a small paintbrush to decorate the cookies.

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*This recipe is adapted from Yummy Toddler Food

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