Spending a fall afternoon at home with the kids provides endless opportunities for pleasure or pain. So, if you are looking for ways to keep ’em amused, without breaking a sweat, or the bank, I’ve got you covered. Making pumpkin spice play dough is a sure fire way to have fun and above all, make fond family memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.

So, “Why make it pumpkin spice when I could just dye it orange?” I hear you ask.

There is method in my madness and it’s two fold. The method, not my madness. Although now you mention it….

But I digress…

First of all, by adding the pumpkin spice to this special play dough, you won’t have handfuls of squishy stuff that smells like olive oil leaving you and the kiddos smelling vaguely like a bottle of extra virgin for the rest of the week.

This Is What Fun Smells Like

Secondly, by putting pumpkin spice in the recipe, you’ll create a memory hook that will remind you of your good times. So, every time “Back to School” season ends and “Pumpkin Spice” season drops, you’ll be taken straight back to your afternoon making the pumpkin spice play dough.

When we smell a particular scent, the information travels from the nose, and along a pathway in our brain. This pathway runs right under the area responsible for memory, and so the theory goes,  that’s why smells can evoke such strong memories.

Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Play Dough 

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 5 minutes 


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup of salt
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tbs pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Orange food colouring

Additional Items

  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Thin, bendy sticks or twigs
  • Leaves
  • Vines or green pipe cleaners

Total Time Needed 10 minutes.

How to make your Pumpkin Spice Play Dough

  1. Making The Play Dough Step 1

    In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the flour, salt, cream of tartar and pumpkin pie spice. Stir until incorporated.

  2.  Making The Play Dough Step 2

    Add the olive oil, water, and food coloring and stir continually until mixture thickens and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and starts to form a ball.

  3. Making The Play Dough Step 4

    Place the cooled play dough on a non-stick surface and knead until the color is consistent throughout the dough and the texture is smooth.

  4. Create

    To create pumpkins, divide dough into even sized balls. Flatten slightly and use your thumb to press down on the top center.

  5. Decorate

    Use the side of a popsicle stick to gently press down the sides of the ball to create the grooves similar to a pumpkin.

  6. Add Details

    Break off a small piece of a stick and press in the top center of the pumpkin to create the stem.

  7. Finishing Touches

    Add leaves and vines with the stem to complete the play dough pumpkins.

Note: Store your pumpkin spice play dough in an airtight container to prevent drying. If the play dough starts to dry out, add a little olive oil and knead.

If you are looking for additional fall fun items, check out our 10 Fun Fall Crafts For Little Ones.