Sensory Activities: Aromatherapy Play-Doh

Homemade Aromatherapy Play-doh

20130929-224603.jpg Making play-doh at home is surprisingly simple! And it’s much cheaper than the stuff you buy at the store, too. We are big fans of play-doh in our house. The carpet often takes the brunt of it, but it’s worth it! (It scrubs out–and the homemade version is easier to clean up than the store-bought version.)

There’s another added bonus in making your own dough: you get to make whatever the heck you want!

Since learning more about Sensory Processing Disorder and working on finding some activities to help my oldest son, I decided to try my hand at some homemade aromatherapy play-doh. But we didn’t stop with pretty smells…oh no! I wanted my play-doh to SPARKLE!

I’ve experimented with a few different recipes for play-doh, and this one is my favorite. It’s easy, it’s squishy and it lasts for months (or longer).

Here’s what you need:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 cups salt (there are lower sodium recipes, but while they had nice texture, they got moldy within a week in our humid Seattle climate)
  • 4 tbsp. cream of tartar
  • 6 tbsp. oil (I use vegetable oil)
  • 2-4 tbsp. glitter in your choice of colors
  • Purple food coloring (I love the Wilton gel colors — they give a much more vibrant color than the cheaper drops)
  • Lavender essential oil (I picked up some locally made oil at Pikes Market that is fantastic, but any essential oil will work. I added about 1/2 tsp to the play-doh. The amount of oil you will need will depend on the quality of your oil)

Directions:

  1. Stir together water, lavender oil, food coloring and glitter to a large pan.
  2. Add flour, salt, oil and cream of tartar and stir together.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it’s stiff. It’s going to be lumpy and look disgusting. But that’s okay. Keep going.
  4. Put the dough into a bowl or on the counter (no sense in dirtying an extra bowl) and knead until soft and smooth.

And that’s it!

Variations: You can experiment with oils and colors. Peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, or even oregano or thyme would be nice to play with. Get creative. :)

Ta-da! It smells pretty AND it sparkles! Give it a try. Let me know what you think! Oh, and I’d love to hear if you come up with any clever scent ideas, too :) Comment and let me know.

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