Homemade Sparkly Scented Play Dough

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

Food colouring 

3-4 drops of glycerine

Essential oils

Vanilla essence

Bowls

Wooden spoons

Plastic containers to store play dough 

Glitter


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!

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Spaghetti & Meatballs

I’ve made this a couple of times recently and our 23 month old has loved it. It’s got grated carrots and courgettes in which is great for children, like our three year old, who don’t like eating big chunks of veg, or toddlers just getting used to a variety of textures.

I’ve used ready made meatballs but homemade ones can always be prepared beforehand (much better if trying to keep salt to a minimum for younger ones). 

serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

olive oil

1 medium onion (grated)

2 carrots (grated)

1 large courgette (grated)

1 garlic clove

Red wine (optional)

24 meatballs (4/5cm diameter)

x2 400g tin finely chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp sugar

200ml vegetable stock (salt free if preferred)

1 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)

Parmesan (grated)

Spaghetti

Salt and pepper

METHOD

Heat 3tbsp oil in a large frying pan. 

With a low heat fry onions for 3 mins

Add carrots, cook for further 2 mins

Add courgettes and cook for 10 mins

Add tomato puree and garlic and cook for 5mins

Add a splash of wine (optional) turn up heat and reduce 

Then add the stock, chopped tomatoes and sugar. Bring to a simmer whilst browning meatballs in another pan.

Add the browned meatballs to sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to simmer for 20-25 minutes. 

Cook spaghetti. 

Add basil to sauce and serve with Parmesan 

  

Scones 

There’s not much that’s better than a hot cup of tea and a couple of scones. They are really easy to make with the children.

 
Ingredients 

450g self raising flour

2 tsp baking powder

75g butter (chilled & cut into cubes)

55g golden caster sugar

2 eggs

200ml milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method 

Grease x2 baking trays

Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan

Rub butter and flour with hands till a fine crumble mix forms. Stir in sugar and baking powder.

Whisk the egg, milk and vanilla. Save two tablespoons of mixture for glazing. 

Make a well in flour and slowly add milk mixture, stirring with fork. As a dough forms, gently knead. 

Sprinkle flour onto surface and pat down to 2.5 cm thick. Cut as many scones as possible then re knead and repeat with left over dough. Using a 68mm/70mm cutter will make approx 15 scones. 5cm cutter will do approx 20.

Place onto a greased baking tray and brush with saved milk mixture. 

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm with butter, strawberry jam and a good dollop of clotted cream.