Friday, January 16, 2015

Homemade Relaxing Playdough Recipe {with Lavender Essential Oils}

My daughter was interested in playdough this morning, so I promised to make some with her when we got home.  I found a few recipes online and then modified it to fit my own interests and needs.  I really wanted to make a bunch of colorful ones but I didn't want to use all the old dyes I had so I decided to use a jello playdough recipe.  Sonja picked out the flavor and I added Lavender to the recipe because my kids have been raging and I wanted to add some calm to the play, but if they were sick I would also consider adding 2-3 drops of thieves oil or maybe even eucalyptus oil.  By adding the oils directly to the dough, I don't have to apply it to my kids skin {feet}, when using oils with kids its important to dilute it with oil, like coconut oil, but in the dough, it's diluted with all the ingredients and the kids are picking it up setting it down, instead of having it rubbed into their skin directly.  So, they're really only exposed to it while they're playing which it {and the small amount absorbed into their skin} which is preventing any stronger oils from having side effect {for more info about using oils safely with kids you can find info here and here}.

Anyway, here's the recipe and how Sonja helped me make the playdough...

1 cup white flour
1 cup warm/hot water
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp cream of tartar {the only ingredient I didn't already own}
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 packet of jello {for scent and/or color}
7 drops of your favorite essential oil {I chose Lavender for calm}

Sonja loves to help bake so we both added ingredients and discussed measuring, I explained how we had to follow the directions and amounts otherwise it might not turn out. 
She LOVED the smell of the strawberry jello, but in the future, I'll probably just use the food coloring option because this was an unnecessary expense {if you do the no jello option; add 1/2 cup salt to fill the difference}
Although, to be honest, I hardly really follow exact measurements, I guesstimate and this was about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, Sonja made sure to get it all in the mix.
Once all ingredients are mixed add to saucepan, and stir on medium to low heat.
Make sure to keep mixing and stirring, I used this opportunity to discuss stove safety.  Eventually the playdough started setting up.
Once the dough started to form a ball from scraping up from the bottom of the pan it was a little too thick for her to stir so I took over.
I had to keep pulling the bottom layer up, to prevent it from burning and to keep the dough moving.
of course my light pinkish color didn't help the ick appearance of the dough mid cook.
keep stirring until a ball is formed, remove from heat, allow to cool.
after a few minutes, you should be able to pick up and form the dough into any form of your choice.  The kids had a blast once the dough cooled.  I'm excited to add this recipe to our future play activities. 

Do you non-school? What activities do you do or make with your kiddos?

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