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Play dough was on my shopping list for about 2 months. I am not sure why I kept avoiding buying it; maybe because I knew I could make it at home. It’s so easy and when my oldest two children were younger we always made play dough instead of buying it.
Playing with play dough is a great sensory activity for people of all ages. Play dough helps kids learn how to use their fingers in new ways, also strengthens hand and wrist muscles. I once saw a physical therapist assigning a patient the activity of squeezing play dough in her hands; this was to help her carpal tunnel and arthritis. Play dough helps kids grow in many ways. It allows kids to be creative and responsible while having fun. Play dough is also very calming with or without essential oils added in.
The great thing about making play dough is the kids can help. It is super easy and only takes a few minutes to mix up. The most time consuming part is kneading the dough smooth and mixing the color in, but isn’t that also the fun part? Playing with the dough…You can make so many different kinds too. Some are even edible. This recipe might taste yucky!
- ¼ cup of hot water (just run your hot water for a few minutes)
- ¾ cup flour
- ¼ cup salt (you want to use finely ground salt, like table salt)
- ½ tbsp vegetable oil
- 10-50 drops of food coloring (optional- but what’s fun about non colored play dough?)
- 5 or so drops of essential oil (optional)
Mix flour and salt into a bowl, add oil and water, mix until it start to become dough like. Then place the dough on the counter or table and knead until all flour and salt is mixed in. It should look and feel like play dough. Now add your food coloring to your desired color brightness. The more you add the stronger the color will be. (This is where the kids come in.) Keep kneading for about 10 minutes; you can always add more drops of the food coloring if the dough is not bright enough for your liking. Now would be the time to add essential oils if you want. Kneading and playing with the dough will continue to mix all the color and oils in.
Store your homemade play dough in an air tight container or ziploc bag.
Suggested essential oils:
- Lavender for calming
- Lemon and/or orange for uplifting spirits
- Tea tree and/or eucalyptus for any respiratory congestion
- Any of the mint oils will work for many things too. Headaches, calming, and respiratory issues.
Have fun playing!