Marbled Play Dough: Easy Play Dough Activity

Homemade play dough and washable markers create this beautiful marbled play dough! So easy to make and can be done again and again.

If you’ve been following us for a while you know that we LOVE play dough. Play dough is a life saver in our house, and we bring it out almost every day for a little quiet play time. We always make our play dough so Aaliyah always picks the color of the day herself. I usually create a themed activity around the color she chooses. Both of us were sick this week, I wanted something super simple to set up and keep her occupied for a while.

Since I use DIY watercolors made from dried out markers to color our play dough, I thought why not let her color her play dough herself? The results were better than I even expected! She loved creating a coloring textures, and as she rolled and shaped this beautiful marbled play dough was created!


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • Washable markers
  • Play dough tools

I went through her marker basket and found some markers that were almost dried out. By the end of this activity they were covered in the marbled play dough so I definitely wouldn’t recommend using new markers. We followed our favorite homemade play dough activity, and just replaced the 1 cup of watercolors with 1 cup of water to make a plain colored dough.

Coloring Marbled Play Dough

To get her started I rolled out her play dough to give her a smooth surface to start with. She immediately loved the texture of the dough and started experimenting with dots and lines and pressing hard and soft to see the changes in the color.

When I set out some clay tools she grabbed this palm tree pine cone? Seed pod? Honestly I have no idea what it is we found it on our walk under a palm tree! It created this really interesting pattern and she started filling in all the dips it made with colors.

Purposefully, I didn’t set out yellow or orange markers. The colors she used blended well together but we will need to experiment and see if adding orange and yellow would muddy up the other colors!

Creating Marbled Play Dough

Once she has the first layer of color, I tore off a small piece and showed her how rolling it into a ball mixed the colors together. She then cut pieces she rolled and mixed them, pointing out the new colors she made!

She kept adding more blues and purples and kept rolling and rolling. The marbled play dough pattern remained, it never fully mixed! I was so surprised by how beautiful it looked, like a little globe.

We decided the marbled play dough looked like waves, so I put together this ocean small world for her to play! See the full tutorial here.

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