Natural Lavender Oil Play Dough

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Hello again! Our family took a little vacation to Colorado to camp in the mountains and we’ve recently returned…with Rocky Mountain dirt and all! In all honestly, it was the one of the most beautiful and fulfilling getaways we’ve had together as a family and I cannot wait to share it all with you. Camping with babies can be hard, but the beauty in that challenge far surpasses any blunder or mishap.  But onto a really wonderful (and simple) recipe you can make in less time than it takes to brew coffee if wanting a last minute kiddo activity or if the weather isn’t cooperating and you’re stuck indoors.

We stopped buying play dough years ago because I found out how simple it is to make. Yet again, one of those things many people buy in stores and don’t ever think to whip up at home. The beauty in this is that you can make this in ten minutes. And I happen to think anyone with kids of their own or those with nieces/nephews should have this in their arsenal, because what kid (or adult?) doesn’t love play dough?

Ever since we started using essential oils I always add a few drops to increase the kids’ sensory experience. They really love it and as do! Our favorite oils to incorporate into this recipe are soothing ones like lavender, bergamot and frankincense. As their little hands roll and cut and mold, the oil diffuses into the air making their playtime more calming. Adding the essential oil also promotes a more holistic learning experience as this activity engages multiple senses.

Note: This particular recipe keeps for much longer if you use cream of tartar so I suggest adding it if you happen to have it in your pantry. If not, it will keep for a week or so. Also, I added some dried lavender buds from our garden to the final product but that step is completely optional. I do, however, recommend adding essential oils.

 

Natural Play Dough Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tarter (this will help preserve your play dough)
  • 4 drops of food coloring (we use natural food coloring you can buy here)
  • 5 drops of lavender essential oil (or your favorite!)

To prepare, combine water, oil, salt, cream of tartar, and food coloring in a saucepan. Heat until warm, making sure not to boil. Once warmed, remove from heat and mix in the flour. Stir and then knead with your hands until the dough is smooth. Roll out flat on the counter and add the essential oils to surface of the play dough. Knead the dough once more until everything is well incorporated. Store your play dough in an airtight container such as a Weck or Mason jar.

Stella starts school here in a few weeks, which is so hard to believe. I am in the midst of learning all about the wonders of Waldorf education and the many imaginative nature-inspired crafts and sensory experiences that will take place in her classroom. I am eager to round them up and share them in this space with you, but in the mean time, if you have any other fun and engaging activities for little ones I’d love to hear! Enjoy the rest of these long summer days, dears. xx

 

  • Katie

    I was just lamenting the shocking amount of playdoh we have at our house. WAY too much. I wanted to donate it and just make some (we are purging things right now), so good timing:). I think you were trying to link to your daughters new school but it didn’t work. We are just embarking on a kindergarten Waldorf program here in the Twin Cities and are so excited! Just about to order some rain pants!!!ReplyCancel

    • Katie! I’m just venturing into Waldorf in the Twin Cities, but we’ll be in the Little Sprout toddler class. Amanda, your daughter will love Waldorf! I remember doing lots of watercolor painting, felting, finger knitting and bread baking (student many years ago k-8 in NJ). Can’t wait to see more Waldorf stuff on your blog in the months to come.ReplyCancel

      • Katie

        Hi Carolyn! Yes! My daughter will be in the 2 year kindergarten program, she is 4.5. We just went to our picnic last night! For the past two years she has been at the Lab School at UMN. We LOVED it there but jumped at the chance for Waldorf since we hope she’ll do all her years of school there. What a small world! Maybe we will meet in person sometime! And like you, I am so excited to hear more about Waldorf on Amanda’s blog as well!ReplyCancel

  • Dina

    I was just thinking that I needed to try to make our own play dough! I knew it was easy, but I’ve never tried making it before myself! Thanks for the recipe – I love the idea of adding essential oils! I love your blog. Thank you so much for all that you share and for inspiring me!ReplyCancel

  • This is so lovely! Shiloh just recently started to actually be able to play with play dough, so I will definitely have to give making it a try! Thanks for sharing this 🙂

    XO
    Nicole | http://www.bynicolegeorge.comReplyCancel

  • […] can do together while watching a movie or unwinding after supper. Bread making, rock painting, and playing with play dough are other great handwork ideas you can practice with your children that I’ve shared in this […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Homemade Play Dough: Once every few months we make our own batch of colorful play dough to dig into and play with. The kids love rolling it out and making designs with various cookie cutters I’ve collected over the years. This is another wonderful craft suited for different ages. Stella and I use play dough to work on letters while the boys do various things with their clay. […]ReplyCancel

  • isabeau

    Are you meant to wait until the salt has dissolved? xReplyCancel

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