Unwinding Play Dough Recipe

I added essential oils to our favorite play dough recipe to make unwinding play dough! It’s a great way to help my little ones wind down at the end of the day, with calm play. Playing with play dough occupies my kids in a relaxing way because they sit still and concentrate. Adding relaxing essential oils helps mellow them out, and makes a great activity before bedtime!
Image shows two little hands holding a ball of homemade playdough made with lavender essential oils to help kids unwind after a long day. Text reads bedtime playdough. Recipe is from Kids Activities Blog.
This bedtime playdough is the best way to help your kiddo relax after a long day!

UNWINDING HOMEMADE PLAY DOUGH RECIPE

This post contains affiliate links. I halved our normal recipe, because I wanted a smaller amount than normal. Plus, I was running low on salt! This is one of the best play dough recipes we have tried that is also a great sensory experience. We love that it uses natural ingredients that you probably already have at home. Ingredients: 
    • 1 Cup of Flour
    • 1 Tbsp of Vegetable Oil (or olive oil, lavender oil, whatever oil you have on hand)
    • 1/4 Cup of Salt
    • 1 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
    • Lavender essential oil
    • 1/2 Cup hot Water (really hot but not boiling water)
    • Food dye (optional)
Image shows a purple lavender homemade playdough with a butterfly-shaped cookie cutter. Text reads "Unwinding Play Dough" from Kids Activities Blog
Almost everything can be used to play with this homemade playdough.
Directions to make calming play dough:

Step 1

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl, and then add in the oil and water.

Step 2

Stir it up, and then use your hands to squish it all together until you get the right consistency. Then let it cool, completely.

Step 3

Next, add just a few drops of food coloring to make a nice lavender shade, but you can make it in different colors.

Step 4

And finally, the drops of essential oil (lavender), which is known to help you relax and unwind. Knead until you get the right texture.

Step 5

Enjoy playing with your relaxing DIY playdough! Note: Keep in an airtight container to maintain the fresh lavender scent and the playdough texture.
Yield: 1

Unwinding Play Dough Recipe

Make your own playdough recipe to help your kid unwind after a long day and get ready for bed. It has lavender essential oil which is great for relaxing.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Estimated Cost under $10

Materials

  • 1 Cup of Flour
  • 1 Tbsp of Vegetable Oil (or olive oil, lavender oil, whatever oil you have on hand)
  • 1/4 Cup of Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
  • Lavender essential oil
  • 1/2 Cup hot Water (really hot but not boiling water)
  • Food dye (optional)

Tools

  • mixing bowl
  • cookie cutters

Instructions

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl, and then add in the oil and water.
  2. Stir it up, and then use your hands to squish it all together until you get the right consistency. Then let it cool, completely.
  3. Next, add just a few drops of food coloring to make a nice lavender shade, but you can make it in different colors.
  4. And finally, the drops of essential oil (lavender), which is known to help you relax and unwind. Knead until you get the right texture.
  5. Enjoy playing with your relaxing DIY playdough!

Notes

Keep in an airtight container to maintain the fresh lavender scent and the playdough texture.

BENEFITS OF PLAY DOUGH PLAY

Playing with playdough is a great calming activity and a natural way that promotes cognitive development as children begin to use symbolic thinking (pretending the playdough is something else – have you ever made playdough snakes? It’s so much fun!) This soothing sensory play is one of my favorite ways to help my kiddo relax after a busy day in a way that will enhance their fine motor skills – plus, it’s so much fun! The drops of lavender’s soothing scent are our secret ingredient to make them ready for bed. The best part about this homemade playdough recipe is that there are so many different ways to play with play dough! This is perfect for kids of all ages, from little hands to older children – everyone can enjoy making their own play dough and then playing with it. Even the most unlikely household item can be turned into a play dough plaything. We love using cookie cutters to make different shapes. My kids and I sometimes like to pretend like we own a bakery, and display our play dough creations on old plates. Empty (cleaned out) chocolate boxes are perfect for making a box of play dough chocolates, with this fun idea from Simplistically Living. Old mugs can be used to make “hot chocolate” with our play dough, and ice cream glasses to make sundaes!  How do you unwind with essential oils? Comment below!