We get through so much play dough that I thought I’d be worth having a go making it ourselves. I’ve tried a couple of times before but always ended up with that stodgy floury nursery school smelling stuff. This time I experiented with some different ingredients and invested in some good essential oils. The children enjoyed having different fragrances to sniff, they love smelling the tester perfumes in shops so it was great to have an activity like this at home.
To make four colours –
You will need
2 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 – 1.5 cups of warm previously boiled water
3-4 drops of glycerine
Plastic containers to store play dough
I used cinnamon leaf, pine needle and mandarin essential oils and vanilla essence. Make sure to research the oils which are safe for you and children, also in pregnancy and breastfeeding. Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil such as grapeseed oil.
I have used grapeseed oil with all my children in baby massage so I knew their skin wouldn’t react to it. A good tip my baby massage instructor showed me, if using for the first time, is to dab a little on the wrist and wait ten minutes to see if there is a reaction or not.
I divided the ingredients into four so the children could make a tub with a different colour and scent each. But you can always make one batch and then divide the dough to colour and fragrance.
1. Into four bowls add flour, salt and cream of tartar.
2. In a separate jug add 2-3 drops of essential oil (or 1tsp vanilla essence) to a teaspoon of grape seed oil and glycerine.
3. Add a 1/4 cup of warm water to the mixture and add the food colouring.
4. Take one of the bowls of the flour mixture and slowly combine the wet mixture with the dry, adding more plain water if needed, until you get a bread dough like consistency that can be kneaded.
5. Adding different colours and scents repeat stages 2,3,4 for the remaining three bowls of flour mix
I used yellow with vanilla, green with pine needle, orange with mandarin and red with cinnamon.
6. Place the dough on a smooth surface and add a sprinkle of glitter (too much will cause the dough to crack).
7. Knead the dough well and it’s ready for play.
8. Work into a soft ball and store in airtight containers when finished with
If you feel the dough needs refreshing at any point rub a few drops of grapeseed oil into hands and work though the dough, it moistens the dough and your hands!