When you learn how easy it is to make your own natural play dough, you’ll be kicking yourself for ever buying the conventional kind thats full of nasty toxic ingredients. And that beautiful natural eco friendly play dough, well you will be saving yourself so much money by making your own. Dare I say making your own is also a little addictive when you see just how many colours you can make from plant dyes and beautiful scents you can add from essential oils and herbs.

But first…why should you make your own playdough? Here’s a quick break down of the ingredient list in conventional playdough:

Starch-based binder
Retrogradation inhibitor

Ummm…what??? Yup. Read that list again… and lets hope your little one has never tried to eat that nasty stuff! Buying natural playdough can get pricey, so I’m here to save you some money!

Here’s very basic playdough recipe for you but keep reading through till the end because I have some fabulous variations for you to try…the possibilities are endless!

Lets gather our ingredients

250ml boiling water
100g table salt
1 tbs cream of tartar
250g plain flour
1 tbs cooking oil

1 large glass bowl and spoon and some willing hands to help knead the cooled dough.

Let’s begin!

  1. Add all the dry ingredients into your bowl and let the kiddies stir to combine.
  2. Add the wet ingredients together (an adult will have to handle the boiling water) and then combine with the dry mix.
  3. First let an adult knead the dough till it cools a little and then all hands on deck until the dough is smooth.

Now, to add some colour –

A variety of natural colours can be added to your dough. If using spices, add these to the dry mix stage. If adding liquid dye from say, beetroot or cabbage leaves, juice or boil these in the 250ml of water first, strain and then follow the recipe as usual.

Some suggestions for natural colours are:

Turmeric for yellow
Cacao for brown (and a chocolatey smell!)
Spirulina for green
Blue spirulina for blue
Boiling or juicing beetroot will give you a beautiful pink colour
Activated charcoal for black
Carrot juice will give you a lovely orange

To give a lovely sensory and scented element –

Once your playdough is cooled, try adding some essential oils for a calming sensory experience. The dough must be cool so that you don’t destroy the therapeutic qualities of the oils. Try lavender for calming, Thieves blend if there is germy nastiness going around, lemon, peppermint, ginger, geranium… the list is endless! I personally use Young Living essential oils and you can pop over to follow me on instagram to find out more about why I choose Young Living and other low tox living tips for busy families.

Lastly, heres a few ideas for enhancing your playdough experience! Sometimes we leave our playdough white and add colourful flowers in at the dry ingredient stage. We call this confetti playdough. You can buy bio degradable glitter now that is made from modified regenerated cellulose but this can get pricey. So try adding coloured sugar crystals or rock salt to your dough for a little sparkle. Be aware however that this could attract ants so make sure you store you playdough in an airtight container in the fridge. It should last 1-2 months.

I would love to hear about the wonderful combinations and add-ins you come up with for your playdough! I offer many other suggestions for mums wanting to reduce the toxic chemicals in their family’s life over at instagram.com/thelavendercollective – please come join our community of mama earth warriors!

You’re doing a great job Mama!
Rachel from The Lavender Collective

About The Author

Rachel is a homeschooling mother of 4 who runs her own business as a low tox living advocate and young living superstar. She is a wealth of information and generous with her expertise. You can find her on Instagram for all of your essential oil needs!

Rachel and her beautiful family!