If you’re looking for a fun, hands on and therapeutic activity to keep your kids entertained these school holidays then you can’t go past aromatherapy play dough! Play dough is so great for helping to develop fine motor strength and skills in young children and with the addition of essential oils you get to enjoy their therapeutic benefits at the same time.
While this makes a perfect school holiday activity, it is also a great idea for school teachers to include into their curriculum. You could use play dough scented with essential oils to promote calm before rest time or an uplifting or focus blend to increase alertness and participation towards the end of the day!
To make aromatherapy play dough, complete the following recipe, colour it to your choice and then once it has cooled down, add a few drops of your chosen essential oil and kneed through.
Note: If you don’t want to make your own, then you can purchase chemical free, essential oil scented Eco Dough from Sew and Reap Australia, a local Perth business! They even have a gluten free option!
Play Dough Recipe
2 Cups of flour (plain or your alternative)
1 Cup of fine salt
4 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
3 Tbsp of Olive (or other) Oil
2 cups of water
Food Colouring (or use natural alternatives like beetroot/spirulina powders)
Essential Oil of choice
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over low-medium heat.
- Stir for 5 minutes until well combined and smooth in texture.
*If you’re time poor, an alternative method is to simply add in boiled water and combine the ingredients in a bowl. Your play dough won’t be quite as smooth and won’t last as long but it’s quicker if you’re in a rush or don’t want to stand over the stove.
- Dust your bench top with flour and kneed in your colour choices (If you are making just one colour you can add it into the water before combining all ingredients at the beginning to avoid staining your hands) and essential oils.
- Store your play dough in an airtight container.
You can use any essential oil that takes your fancy (or better yet, let your child choose their favourite scent!), but here are some of our tried and tested favourites!
To Calm (great to use just before nap/rest time to help them wind down):
- Lavender and/or Frankincense
- Balance and/or Wild Orange
- Peppermint (don’t use this just before bed time! Hehe)
- Citrus Bliss
To Help Ease Anxious Feelings/Stress:
- Vetiver and Wild Orange
To Increase Focus:
- In Tune
To Boost Immunity:
- On Guard
- Lemon and Frankincense
Just Because They Smell Insanely Good:
And there you have it, an easy and enjoyable activity that is not only wonderful for your child’s development but also therapeutic in its nature!
You can tailor the activity and further engage your child by incorporating their interests into the play i.e Add in farm animals, baking instruments and cookie cutters, pieces of collected nature, lego/duplo people, flowers, toy cars etc.
Have fun and tag me in your pictures so I can see your creations!
Essential Mumma x