Natural Aromatherapy Playdough

When it comes to activities at home with my children, its always the simple, fuss-free and inexpensive types that always come up top trumps, whether thats garden activities, being indoors getting messy with crafts, using up old materials or finding ones around the house, baking simple things, or sometimes challenging our (my) baking skills, but usually you’ll find them colouring in, writing stories, and asking for the homemade playdough.

Especially now I have two at school, and two at home when it’s Phoenix’s days off nursery, its something so easy and actually quite lovely to make for them both to play with. Whats even better is that Didi is slowly getting the ‘no eating, just playing’ thing so its more enjoyable all round (rather than the consumed playdough or spitting out and finding soggy bits to play with!) – That’s one of my main motivators for making my own since having kids is that this recipe is non-toxic. Apart from the potency of the oils, I’ve used child friendly ones with minimal drops per ball of dough.

Reasons why we love it:

  • Its a great activity to encourage quiet or calm play.
  • Open-ended imagination, one minute they’re baking cakes, the next they can be found making dinosaurs or people.
  • The perfect rainy day activity.
  • Fuss-free to make. (also lovely to include them on making the batches)
  • It’s cost-effective!
  • Adding to the previous pointer, that we can easily make lots more to make sure there’s enough to go around (four kids all love it here!)
  • Suits a range of childrens ages.

*I even made batches of rainbow playdough to go in party bags for one of the kids birthdays and it was so cheap to do, and they really loved taking a little game home!) We’ve been using essential oils in our family for a few years now, but since late last year we have been using Young Living and even more so around the children now. I’ve made lavender playdough before but I really wanted to incorporate a few more oils into them this time. As mentioned above, its a perfect activity for a moment of calm, or quiet play if another is napping or something so I wanted to use oils to reflect that sense of calm. The kids are familiar with these scents too now so they loved to have a whiff of them while kneading away and creating different things.


There are so many wonderful recipes for playdough, but simple and fuss-free spring to mind when wanting to whip something up super quick. We opted for an overall popular mix which is:

  • 2 cups of hot/warm water.
  • 2 cups of plain flour.
  • 1 cup of table salt.
  • 1tbsp Cream of tartar.
  • 2tbsp Olive oil.
  • Food colouring if you’re wanting to add colour.
  • 4-5 Drops of essential oil (we use Young Living) – Check for child-friendly oils.

There may be a better and more elegant way of making this, but we’ve always just put the whole lot into a big mixing bowl, gradually adding the water. With this batch, I then separated into three balls to which I then added food colouring (to match each oil) and then the 4-5 drops of oils each.

Little extras:

  • Cutting shapes.
  • Childrens rolling pin (we have this set of four).
  • When storing essential oil playdough, be sure to use glass containers as this preserves the moisture of the dough and keeps the quality of the oils contained.

The oils we used:

Lemon – Great for creating a happy and uplifting atmosphere, packed with antioxidants and smells so fresh. I also use this in the all purpose spray around the home too for these exact reasons.

Gentle Baby – This fragrant blend is specially formulated for mothers and babies (and children). It helps calm emotions with its a comforting combination of oils, one that we use daily whether its through diffusing for bedtime, or calm moments and also lovely to incorporate into body products.

Lavender – Fresh, sweet and fragrant. The powerhouse of oils, calming, soothing, comforting and has so many benefits for adults and little ones. You will without a doubt find me spraying this around the bedrooms or on pillows at bedtime or in the diffusers!


You can read more about why we love using essential oils in an upcoming post.


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Discussion about this post

  1. These look fab. I must try this recipe as I get so fed up of the pots of playdoh we buy- they dry up so quickly and all end up one colour! Will give it a go as playdoh is actually something both my boys enjoy! xx

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