Glow in the Dark Playdough Recipe

Activity for ages 3 to 6.

This glow in the dark playdough recipe is sure to make playtime exciting. Just by adding one simple ingredient and a backlight to our one pot play dough recipe, we put a fun twist on our standard dough that really gets imaginations flowing.

Glow in the Dark Playdough Recipe

Glow in the Dark Playdough Recipe

To make the glow in the dark dough, I pulled out the ingredients for the one pot play dough and a few bottles of glow in the dark paint I purchased from the craft store.

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cups of salt
  • 6 tablespoons of cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 3 cups of water
  • Glow in the dark paint

My 4 year old daughter, a play dough making pro, measured all the ingredients, stirred the dough until clump-free,  then handed me the pot to cook the dough.

Glow in the Dark Playdough Recipe. {Playdough to Plato}

We left out any food coloring because we’d be using the glow paint for color after the dough was cooked.


Once the dough cooled a bit, we divided it into three balls and began mixing in about a tablespoon of paint at a time by making a well in the ball then squirting the paint right in.  {This part does get a little messy and since paint could get on your work surface you may want to cover it before kneading your dough.} We ended up using a little over half the bottle to get a nice bright color while in the daylight.


Of the three paints used we liked the results of the Martha Stewart paint best.


The Americana brand produced a grainy looking glow effect {purple dough below}, while the Martha Stewart brands produced a bright even colored dough that really shined under the black light.  We did try charging the dough under a strong desk lamp and both brands did glow but it was so faint and fleeting we opted to play under the black light.

Awesome! Glow in the Dark Playdough Recipe. {Playdough to Plato}

Once the paint was mixed in my kids were more than eager to play with this “magical” dough.  My 4 year old, A, is obsessed with Halloween so I brought out a some goggly eyes, straws, pipe cleaners, and jewels and the monster building began.

Glow in the Dark Playdough Recipe

The characters and stories my kids came up with were hilarious and so much fun to watch come alive. Imaginations were definitely working overtime.

Awesome! Glow in the Dark Playdough Recipe. {Playdough to Plato}

My kids begged to skip bath time for a few extra minutes with the playdough and even then didn’t stop playing until I flipped the lights on and the dough lost it’s magic.   This is hands down a favorite for kids and adults alike in this house!

Find More

Check out our roundup of 100 free playdough mats, make a batch of glow in the dark slime and try our easy green apple playdough recipe.


Save time, stay inspired and get EVERY student bigger results!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi, I’m Malia.

I LOVE helping Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade teachers save time, stay inspired and give EVERY student bigger results. I’m so glad you’re here!

Click here to subscribe