5 Easy Ways to Make Taste Safe Mud for Sensory Play

Mar 10, 2023

This tutorial will show you five different ways to make taste safe mud for sensory play. This play dirt is a great activity for kids of all ages starting as early as 1. Play mud makes for awesome sensory, messy fun.

This activity uses a few simple ingredients that can most likely be found around the house. You can make sensory play dirt in a few different ways if you don’t have some of the ingredients. Some of the options for play mud are a little messier than others but equally as fun.

You can use edible mud in many different ways. You can create it to go with farm sensory play trays and have pigs rolling around in the mud, make it for little ones to dig in like a construction site, use it as a fun way to cool off on a hot day, and more. You can even add scoops and buckets and make edible mud pies.

Play mud works great in a traditional sensory bin tray, on a large scale in a water table, or set up with a fun-themed sensory bin.

For other fun sensory play recipes, check out this fun cloud dough recipe or recipe to make bubble foam.

Taste Safe Mud for Sensory Play

Why make sensory play Taste Safe?

Making sensory play taste safe is especially important when doing sensory play with younger children who put everything in their mouths. Many times the bases for sensory play include small pieces, liquids, or other materials that children may want to put in their mouths. They make look like (or often are) food that children are used to eating or snacking one. 

Because sensory play is so important for young children and helps their learning and development you can start it with children as early as older babies if desired. You will need to make the base safe for them to put in their mouths (doesn’t necessarily have to taste good) as they often will explore using their mouths and put things in their mouths. You don’t want them to get sick from doing this so making sensory play that is taste safe is great option for younger toddlers and babies.

Boots Playing in the Mud

Photo Credit: June Admiraal

Ideas for Sensory Bins using Edible Dirt

  • Bug-themed sensory play – Add plastic bugs and worms to play mud.
  • Planting-themed sensory play – Add fake food that can be found growing in the dirt to the play mud. You could also add in seeds or real food like carrots (more fun if the green part is still on), broccoli, etc…
  • Farm sensory play – Add in play pigs, cows, horses, a plastic barn, etc…
  • Dino Dig – Add in dinosaurs and bury them under the dirt. Put in toothbrushes, paintbrushes, water, etc…and have little ones dig them out.
  • Construction sensory bin – Add in bulldozers, diggers, dump trucks and other big trucks for a construction site.
Pudding Mud for Sensory Play

Harry and the Dirty Dog Taste Safe Mud Sensory Play Idea

The inspiration behind our making taste safe mud for sensory play came from the idea to create this fun book-themed activity.

To create a sensory play activity to go with the book “Harry and the Dirty Dog,” mix up a batch of sensory mud using one of the recipes below.

Then add in toy dogs, a cup or toy bath to act as a bathtub for the dog, and scrub brushes. Add in details like play bulldozers and train tracks like the ones found in the book. Then allow little ones to play and make a mess. Let them get the dogs dirty like in the book and then scrub them clean.

Harry and the Dirty Dog Sensory Play

Cocoa Powder and Flour Taste Safe Mud Recipe

To make this taste-safe mud you will need to mix 3 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 cup flour (gluten free flour works well too if needed), and 1 cup water. Begin mixing the water in slowly until you reach the desired consistency. You may end up using a little less or a little more than 1 cup

This recipe for taste safe mud works great for sensory bins that you do not want your little ones to eat or taste too much. It is completely safe to taste and eat but will taste very bitter to little ones.

It works great as you can make it large scale or smaller depending on how much cocoa powder and flour you use. If you want it to be a little more powdery add in less water. To make your mud a little more goopy add in more water.

*To truly be taste safe be sure to heat your flour in the microwave for at least a minute before using it in play with little ones.


Pudding Sensory Play Mud

This sensory play mud recipe is sweet and tasty for little ones to play in and ingest. They may end up trying to eat this one and as long as you have safe items to play in you can allow them to do this.

This one is super simple as all you need to do is follow the directions to make a box of chocolate pudding. Simply add your chocolate pudding powder to 2 cups of milk and stir and let sit until it reaches the desired consistency.

This edible mud is very sticky once made and played with so I would highly recommend using this recipe in the summer when it is warmer out and sensory play can be done outside and easily washed off in the yeard.

Cereal Play Dirt

This recipe for edible dirt is a lot more powdery as a consistency. It isn’t quite as messy or goopy and won’t work for mud pies. But it works great for sensory bins like construction ones.

Using your favorite brown cereal of choice, add desired amount (we’d recommend about 4 cups) to a food processor and process until fine. Cereals that work great would be cocoa krispies, reeses peanut butter puffs, chocolate cheerios, and more.

Sensory Play Dirt Cereal

Cocoa and Cornstarch Oobleck Sensory Mud

This play mud is a perfect consistency. It is a lot thicker and really gets on things so it is fun to scrub and wash off. You can play once, let it dry and harden in the sun and then play again. Once it dries out allow little ones to add in water to make it into a mud consistency again.

To make this chocolate oobleck simply add two tbsp cocoa powder to our normal Oobleck recipe (without the food coloring). Mix it all up and add it to your bin of choice. It will taste bitter so children won’t want to eat it but is completely taste-safe if needed.

Sensory Play Mud Oobleck

Chocolate Frosting and Powdered Sugar sensory Dirt

To make this fun taste safe dirt you will need a cup of chocolate frosting and 2-3 cups of powdered sugar. Slowly stir the two ingredients together in a bowl. Start with 2 cups of powdered sugar and stir it together until it starts to get crumbly and is the texture of your choosing.

Too much frosting and not enough powdered sugar will leave this taste-safe dirt too sticky. You have a great consistency once it is more like a powdery dough than a sticky frosting. This taste-safe dirt smells amazing and is perfect for construction bins and more!

How to Make Mud for Sensory Play

What are the Benefits of Sensory Play Mud?

  • Encourages Creativity
  • Allows for Exploration
  • Teaches Problem Solving Skills
  • Improves Fine Motor Skills
  • Encourages language Skills
  • Helps Gross Motor Skills
  • Brain Development – strengthens nerve connections

*And many more! For other awesome sensory play activities be sure to also check out this tutorial on how to make chia seed slime for sensory play.




Hi, I'm Rachael. I am a kindergarten teacher turned stay-at-home mom of two sweet girls.

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