This aromatherapy play dough is a great way to potentially change a little one’s mood.  From energizing to relaxing each essential oil has it very own properties that you can give to the play dough. If you like essential oils, try my homemade Coconut Oil Whipped Body Butter, it comes together in two simple steps!

aromatherapy play dough

Please welcome my friend Stephanie of Garden Therapy to tell you exactly how this delightfully smelling play dough is made! Don’t miss a special offer for essential oils at the bottom!

Hi, I’m Stephanie from Garden Therapy! You will usually find me crafting up something in the garden but today I’m happy to pop by and share a recipe for no-bake aromatherapy play dough that I made for my son.

You see, when I’m feeling a little overwhelmed from busy days and too much technology, I head out to the garden. That’s where I get to center myself, breathe in the fresh air, and dig my hands into the soil. My little guy loves it too, but sometimes you just can’t garden with a toddler, like when it’s snowing, or raining. Or when you are out a restaurant and he’s screaming “gardening!”(which has happened more than once).  These are the times I have to resort to something a bit more portable to breathe in and dig your hands into. And so aromatherapy play dough is born!

how to make aromatherapy play dough

Just adding a few drops of essential oils to the dough can really make all of the difference to a little one’s state of mind. I’ve made up a few versions with different oils to use depending on what the environment is and what mood my son is in. I coordinated the color to the scent and chose each of the oil for its properties:

Green – peppermint – energizing/focus

Peppermint play dough

Blue – basil – balancing

basil playdough

Purple – lavender – relaxation/calming

lavender play dough

Orange – orange – relaxation/positive emotions

orange play dough

A note on essential oils and children: all of these oils are presumed safe on children 2 years of age and older; however please consult your health care practitioner before using essential oils on people of any age. On a completely non-scientific note: many children have played with this play dough recipe and have enjoyed it thoroughly! My favorite is the lavender as it always sends me into a dreamy state.

How To Make Aromatherapy Play dough

Aromatherapy Play Dough Recipe

2.5 cups flour
1 cup salt
¾ cup warm water
1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil
Food coloring (red, yellow, blue)
Essential oils 2 drops each of basil, lavender, peppermint, orange

In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt together.

Set up three smaller bowls (that could easily hold at least two cups of play dough) and add ¼ cup of water to each one. Add food coloring to each of the bowls:

how to make essential oil play dough

10 drops blue for basil play dough
10 drops of green for peppermint play dough
3 drops red and 7 drops yellow for orange play dough
5 drops red and 5 drops blue for purple lavender play dough
Add ½ tablespoon of a non-scented vegetable oil to each of the bowls. I like sunflower oil but anything that isn’t strongly scented will do.

Add 2 drops of essential oil per bowl. More than that and it will be overpowering to little people.

Stir the color, oils, and water together.

Add one cup of the flour/salt mixture to each of the three smaller bowls and stir well.

essential oil playdough tutorial

Dust a hard surface with a bit of the remaining flour/salt mixture and knead it with your hands until it is combined and a nice soft texture. Knead in a bit more water to soften the play dough, add a bit more flour/salt to make it firmer.

making aromatherapy play dough

Package the play dough in plastic bags and store in the fridge when not in use.

Need another kid’s activity? Make your own moon sand sometimes called kinetic sand for hours of fun!

About the Author

Stephanie Rose is the creator of the popular gardening and craft blog, Garden Therapy; and the author of the upcoming book, Garden Made. When she is not writing, she can be found out in garden of her Vancouver, BC, home that she shares with her husband, son, and tiny dog, Meatball.

Visit Stephanie at Garden Therapy, home to garden-related DIY projects, yummy recipes, and crafty goodness. With over 500 quick, stylish projects to tackle she hopes to make gardening interesting and accessible to everyone, no matter what color their thumbs are.

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  1. This is great! However I will substitute the peppermint oil for extra lavender because peppermint oil in not recommended for children under

  2. I’m also struck now that I should have used lavender blooms in the photo of the lavender play dough! It was growing just steps away from me but I love those pretty chive flowers and the color was a perfect match.

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Cindy. It was a pleasure to contribute and I hope that lots of kids get to enjoy this play dough!


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