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How to Make Scented Playdough (DIY Aromatherapy Playdough)

Looking for a fun, beneficial way to keep your kids entertained? Try scented playdough! This quick playdough DIY uses essential oils to provide children with aromatherapy benefits as they create and learn.

Playdough is a blessing for parents. Making it yourself is super easy, cheap, and guarantees hours of fun. It makes a great indoor activity for rainy days and stores easily for on-the-go entertainment.

Create a batch of this aromatherapy play dough for a fun spin on the classic toy, filled with the benefits and scents of your favourite essential oils.

The History of Play Dough

Stack of homemade scented playdough in bright colors

Playdough has long been a childhood staple. I played with it as a child and now so has my son! It’s a safe and simple way to keep kids engaged, and honestly, I don’t mind playing with it too.

The original commercial dough, Play-Doh, was actually manufactured as a wallpaper cleaner in the 1930s to help with coal residue. But once washable vinyl paper was introduced, sales of the product declined.

After seeing a newspaper article about children making arts and craft projects out of the dough, they decided to remarket the product in the 1950s. There is no doubt how popular it became, even being inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.

However, playdough is extremely easy to make yourself! I avoid buying the commercial stuff because it actually has a petroleum additive in it to give it a smoother feel. While playdough is not meant to be eaten, kids tend to put anything in their mouths and I would rather they are playing with natural, safe doughs.

Scented Playdough

Labeled containers filled with scented playdough

Playing with the dough is of course fun, but so is the experience of making the dough. I like to involve kiddos in the process of making the dough. Since the process is so simple, they can follow along easily and feel accomplished in playing with the end product.

This aromatherapy play dough is also great entertainment for kid’s parties. You can double this recipe as needed to make a large batch of dough for everyone to play with. Plus, they can be used as party favours! I like to bring out cookie cutters and rolling pins for the kids to use with their dough.

The best part about making the dough yourself is getting to customize it. I liked to combine colours with scents, such as purple with lavender or eucalyptus with green.

Orange scented playdough with leaves

You can also customize based on the effects of the essential oil, such as the uplifting nature of orange or the relaxing effects of lavender. Every time you play with the dough, you will also get to experience the benefits of the essential oils you choose. Don’t think of play dough as just for children too. Think of it like a stress ball!

The Best Scents for Aromatherapy Playdough

Purple aromatherapy playdough on a wooden background

Before you begin, it is important to note that not all essential oils are suitable for children to use. Research beforehand and consult with a healthcare professional for more information.

Here are the types of essential oil I have personally used with my own child. Again, please do your research beforehand. 

If you want to make it simple, you can even grab a set of kid-safe essential oils that are already pre-blended.

How to Make Scented Playdough

DIY aromatherapy playdough

This recipe is so simple, you probably already have all the materials in your kitchen already! Be sure to experiment with different colours and scents for your own custom scented playdough blends.

Materials:

  • 2.5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • ¾ cup of warm water
  • 5 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • Food colouring
  • Essential oils (I used lavender, peppermint, and sweet orange)

Make It!

Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

mixing flour and salt in a glass bowl

Grab three separate bowls, or enough for each colour/scent combination you would like to make. They should be large enough to hold at least two cups of play dough. Add ¼ cup of water to each.

Add food colouring to each of the bowls. I did:

  • 5 red drops and 5 blue drops for purple, lavender dough
  • 3 drops red and 7 drops yellow for orange dough
  • 10 drops blue for blue, peppermint dough

green food coloring

Add ½ tbsp of the vegetable oil to each bowl. When choosing an oil, try to go with an unscented oil such as sunflower oil.

Add 2-4 drops of essential oil to each bowl. I recommend you start with 2 drops and add a couple more if you would like to make the scent stronger. Keep in mind, little noses can easily be overpowered by scents so less is better in my books. Stir your oil and colour mixture together.

Add one cup of the flour and salt mixture to each bowl. Stir until thoroughly mixed and then dust the counter top with more of the remaining mixture. Knead the dough until it has a soft texture perfect for playing. If you feel like you need to soften the mixture a bit, add a smidge of water. If it is too soft and sticky, add more flour/salt to firm it up.

mixing diy playdough with green dye

Package your dough in a jar with a tight seal. If just my son and I are using it, I leave it as it. If I want to make some to give away, I pretty them up with custom labels and twine/ribbon. Store your dough in the fridge when not in use.

diy playdough

Have fun playing!

DIY Aromatherapy Play Dough

Easy to make using cheap, household ingredients, this aromatherapy scented playdough is sure to guarantee hours of fun.

Supplies

  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1.5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Food colouring
  • Essential oils (I used lavender, peppermint, and sweet orange)

Instructions

  • Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl.
  • Set aside three separate bowls, or enough for each colour/scent combination you would like to make. They should be large enough to hold at least two cups of play dough. Add ¼cup of water to each.
  • Add food colouring to each of the bowls. I did: 5 red drops and 5 blue drops for purple/lavender dough, 3 drops red and 7 drops yellow for orange dough, 10 drops blue for blue/peppermint dough.
  • Add ½ tbsp of the vegetable oil to each bowl. When choosing an oil, try to go with an unscented oil such as sunflower oil.
  • Add 2-4 drops of essential oil to each bowl. Start with 2 drops and add more if you would like to make the scent stronger. Keep in mind, little noses can easily be overpowered by scents so less is better in my books. Stir your oil and colour mixture together.
  • Add one cup of the flour and salt mixture to each bowl. Stir until thoroughly mixed and then dust the counter top with more of the remaining mixture. Knead the dough until it has a soft texture perfect for playing. If you feel like you need to soften the mixture a bit, add a smidge of water. If it is too soft and sticky,add more flour/salt to firm it up.
  • Package your dough in a jar with a tight seal and store in the fridge when not in use.

Comments

  1. I love this idea! it’s on my list of things to try. What are the containers you show in the image with showing “jars” with purple lids and labels?

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Made this with my mom and niece and we all loved it. Easy and fun to make. The instructions were simple to follow. We made purple, green, orange, and blue. Love!

    Reply

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