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DIY Natural Essential Oil Play Dough Recipe


Kids LOVE play dough. The creativity, the mushing and mashing, the smell and even the delicious salty taste! MMM. Maybe that’s one benefit of making your own natural dough at home. But, have you ever thought of making homemade aromatherapy play dough that comes with even more benefits?

BOOM! I’ll vote this one the idea of the year. Now parents can turn regular ol’ play dough that’s already super fun, into a calming, uplifting, energizing  way to play.

When you search for DIY play dough, you’ll find the same basic recipe, with minor modifications here and there. You can’t go wrong with this natural recipe:

Homemade Natural Essential Oil Play Dough:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (so good for the skin)
  • 1/2 cup Wright salt (added minerals baby!)
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water with natural food dye
  • 10-20 drops essential oil (however smelly you like it)


  1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, melted coconut oil, salt and cream of tartar.
  2. Add the colored boiling water and stir continuously until it forms a dough.
  3. Let the mixture cool a bit and knead the dough until mixed well.
  4. Store in an air tight container – like small Mason jars.

Essential Oils & Natural Dyes To Try

First, it’s important to do a little research about essential oils and their safety. Although they are extracted from plants and 100% natural, even natural things can cause reactions in some people. There are also specific oils that shouldn’t be used around children under a certain age. Just to be safe, read this article about Essential Oils, the FDA and What You Should Know.

As far as the oils we’ve listed here, they are all known to be safe for young children.

Lemon Oil, 1 Oz, NOW Foods

Lemon Oil

It’s refreshing, cheerful and uplifting. Lemon oil is also great for focus, mental clarity and is known to be an immune stimulant. So, if your child ever seems a little down, bust out the yellow dough! Lime, grapefruit and orange essential oils are also great options for a cheerful play dough. Get creative with your own combinations. Lime, orange and lemon together make a happy citrus scent.

Natural yellow dye: Boil 1 1/2 cup water and mix in 1 tsp turmeric. Use as part of the play dough recipe. Mustard or curry powder will work as well!

Lavender Oil Lavender Oil, 1 Oz, NOW Foods

Lavender oil is calming and helps promote restful sleep. It’s also soothing and balancing and it smells clean, too!

Natural purple dye: Boil 1 1/2 cups of water and 1 cup blackberries for 10 minutes to kill any bacteria that could create mold. Then simmer for 20 minutes, or until you get your desired color. Strain and use the water as part of your play dough recipe. Concentrated grape juice or shredded beets will work, too.


Peppermint Oil, 1 Oz, NOW FoodsPeppermint Oil 

Peppermint oil is invigorating, cooling and known to help with occasional headaches or congestion. But it’s also a great choice for the holidays! And a need gift idea too. In that case, you could make a pine, cinnamon and peppermint dough collection to give away… Add it to your list!

Natural red dye: Boil 1 1/2 cups water and mix in 1 tsp paprika. Use as the water for the play dough recipe. Red raspberries, beet juice or powder and pomegranate juice will all work as well.


Lime Oil, 1 Oz, NOW Foods

Lime Oil

Another happy scent that’s fresh and uplifting. Lime oil is sweet yet tart, and it’s one most kids will love to sniff.

Natural green dye: Boil 1 1/2 cups water with 1/2 cup spinach for 10 minutes. Simmer up to 30 minutes until you get the green you like. Strain and use the water as part of the play dough recipe. Matcha powder or liquid chlorophyll will work, too.


Tangerine Oil, 1 Oz, NOW FoodsTangerine Oil

It’s a warm, sweet and lively smell kids will love to get their hands on. Tangerine oil also supports the lymphatic, circulatory and immune systems. Just another added benefit to FUN.

Natural orange dye: Boil 1 1/2 cups of water with 2 cups shredded carrots for 10 minutes. Simmer until you see the orange color you like. Strain and use as the water in the play dough recipe. Pure carrot juice or carrot powder will work as well.

You can really get as creative as you’d like with your oil blends and food dyes. Natural Healthy Concepts even has some great pre-blended oils that are designed for a specific benefit.

One of my favorites is the Now Foods Nature’s Shield. It’s the popular thieves oil already blended for you. If you don’t know already, thieves is amazing for supporting the body’s natural defenses, cleansing and purifying, among other things. It’s simply a mixture of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary, and it smells fantastic.

If you decide to make some natural essential oil play dough as a gift for the holiday season, you can also find oils like Balsam Fir and Pine Needle, as well as Cinnamon. Add in a tablespoon of glitter to the play dough mixture to make it even more fun!


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