When we’re feeling sick, all we want is to get distracted and do something fun that doesn’t require a lot of effort. That’s when this peppermint essential oil playdough comes in handy! 

Picture of 3 pink homemade playdough balls for sick days with the text "homemade sick day play dough with peppermint essential oil".

Sick Day Playdough Recipe

We love making homemade playdough, and we’ve been experimenting with adding essential oils to our favorite recipe. Our peppermint essential oil playdough will help uplift their spirits on a sick day.

Related: One Step Homemade Gatorade Sports Drink Recipe

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Why make homemade play doh with essential oils

Like many other essential oils, peppermint oil shouldn’t be used to replace medical treatment; on the other hand, it is there to help ease the symptoms and support a healthy lifestyle, clear your children’s little noses and improve their mood, support the immune system through coughs and colds, reduce pain and stress, and more.

Related: Fever stickers are the best thing ever

If you’ve got a little one feeling down or sick, our homemade playdough recipes with different essential oils are a great way to lift their spirits. Not only that, but making your own play dough helps promote fine motor skills and create a fun sensory experience for little kids, while older kids will enjoy the aromatherapy benefits of therapeutic playdough play.

There are so many great ways to play with this homemade play dough: you can pick up cookie cutters to create different shapes, make playdough in different colors to make 3D little people, make playdough snakes, or even recreate your hometown.

Image of a small kid with a cold blowing his nose into a tissue on a grey background.
Help your little one feel better with this fun play doh!

Personally, I think play dough is the best way to help children develop their fine motor skills and creativity in a fun way. And the best thing is that you can add essential oils of your choice to an already wholesome activity, making it the perfect activity for sick days.

Actually, using peppermint essential oil is also an easy way for adults to feel better after catching a cold, and don’t we all just love playing with playdough? All you need for this recipe is a large bowl, some oil (we used coconut oil but you can use a different oil, such as olive oil or sunflower oil), flour, cream of tartar, food coloring, and of course, your peppermint essential oil – so you can get the full benefits of essential oils. We love that this recipe doesn’t use artificial dyes!

Other essential oils that are good for a sick day are:

You only need a few SIMPLE ingredients for Peppermint Essential Oil Playdough:



Step 1: Mixing up the ingredients

Stir together your salt, flour, cream of tartar and oil in a big bowl. Add the boiling water and keep stirring until it forms a doughy mixture.

Then it’s time to add the boiling water, and keep stirring until it forms a dough. This will take a couple of minutes until the consistency is just right.

Step 2: Adding the peppermint essential oil

When it’s mixed pretty thoroughly and has had a chance to cool a bit, add the peppermint essential oil (peppermint oil is great for sick days, but you can also add your favorite essential oils to the mix) and the food coloring. Knead the dough until both are thoroughly mixed in.

Step 3 – Knead, knead, knead!

This step takes a while, but trust us, it will be worth it. Just knead the dough on a hard surface until the dye is thoroughly mixed into the dough. This takes a while, but keep working at it!

It’s very important to be careful at this step because it could still be really hot! Always try it yourself before letting a kid get near. 

Step 4 – Play With Your Own Playdough With Essential Oils

Now comes the fun part – play time! Make a ball of dough and see how your kids enjoy the relaxation benefits of playdough fun with the essential oils. For best results, make play dough using different food coloring to maximize the fun.

You can store your new play dough in a ziploc bag but preferably in an air-tight container so it will last for much longer.

Yield: 1

Peppermint Essential Oil Play Dough

Follow this easy recipe to make peppermint essential oil play dough to lift your kid's spirit on a sick day.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $10


  • 2 Cups of Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Oil (I used coconut oil melted in the microwave)
  • 1/2 Cup of Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Cream Of Tartar (You can find this on the spice aisle)
  • 1 1/2 Cup Water (boiling)
  • 10-20 Drops peppermint essential oil (Depending on how strong you like the scent to be)
  • A few drops of Food Coloring


  • medium-sized pot to boil water
  • big bowl


1. Mix the salt, flour, cream of tartar, and oil together in a big bowl.

2. Then add the boiling water and keep stirring until it forms a dough.

3. Once it's mixed and has cooled down a bit, add the essential oil and food coloring.

4. Knead the dough until the dye is thoroughly mixed. This step might take a while, but keep working at it.

5. Enjoy your homemade playdough with lemon essential oil.


Make sure the dough has cooled down before handing it to children.

Image of homemade playdoh being mixed into a metallic bowl. It has peppermint essential oil to help children feel better when they feel sick.
Making the homemade playdoh is just as fun as playing with it!

We love our peppermint essential oil playdough, and it smells awesome. But, if it starts to lose its smell, you can always just add a few more drops of peppermint oil to the mix. If it starts to dry out, you can just add a few drops of oil.

My daughter always grabs for this playdough when she is feeling low – the invigorating peppermint smell is sure to bring a smile.

Collage image. On the left it has text that says "peppermint essential oil playdough" and on the right it has yellow and red playdough in jars.
We hope this peppermint essential oil playdough helps you feel better!

We used red dye in our playdough to make ours look more peppermint-ish, but you could make it in any color!

Make sure to check out our bad day playdough to cure your bad mood with lemon essential oils.


Ha! Me too… a while ago.

It can be overwhelming with so many oils & choices.

But to keep it simple essential oils are, in short words, concentrated plant extracts that have beneficial properties. Essential oils are used in aromatherapy and have benefits that help improve health. Among their health benefits, essential oils are said to help:

  • boost your mood
  • reduce stress
  • increase attentiveness
  • improve sleep
  • reduce anxiety
  • reduce inflammation
  • and many other things.

Since essential oils come from plants, their benefits are affected by the plant they are extracted from. Find out which are the best essential oils for your needs!

Did you try this play dough with essential oils recipe? Did you like it? Let us know in the comments!

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