Easy Play-dough Recipe | Essential oil Infused Play-dough For Toddlers

The classic toddler activity of playing with playdough just got a serious upgrade! Why make it home made when store bought playdough is cheap, bright and easy!? Well, my simple answer is: toddler buy-in! And, the essential oils in the playdough add a boost to this sensorial experience.

Toddlers (and some adults, too, as I sheepishly raise my hand) need and crave sensory play. They can feel it, touch it, squish it, AND smell it? It’s divine! Providing opportunities for children to follow a set of directions or recipe, measuring, stirring, and just being involved in a process is so good for them! For example, when Eleanor poured the oil into the water she noticed she couldn’t mix it up completely and it was making what looked like to her “bubbles.” We talked about how the water and oil were separating and just pointed out the things she noticed.

Getting my toddler involved with a process of art or science does wonders for her! She’s so engaged and happy to have ownership over the experience.  I also love easy indoor activities to occupy my toddler on a snow day, rainy day, stuck-inside-day. The process of making the playdough has so many benefits and is just as fun as playing with the play dough itself.

I had my toddler choose her favorite three scents (oils from my young starter kit) and we went for it! We made this recipe in three separate pots to make a batch of orange, peppermint, and lavender essential oil playdough.

Science, observation, vocabulary, direction following, ownership, empowerment-- who would have thought something as simple as making playdough together with your toddler could be so amazing!? If you really stop to think about all the work their brains are doing alongside you, it’s pretty incredible.

Easy Playdough recipe | essential oil infused playdough for toddlers
Easy Playdough recipe | essential oil infused playdough for toddlers
Easy Playdough recipe | essential oil infused playdough for toddlers

Easy Playdough Recipe with no cream of tartar


  • ¾ Cup Flour

  • ¼ Cup Salt

  • 1 Tablespoon Oil

  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon juice (or white vinegar-- either of these can replace cream of tartar)

  • 3-5 Drops Essential oils

  • Food coloring


  1. Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside

  2. Stir together wet ingredients (including oils and food coloring) into a pot and heat through. The water just needs to get hot, not boiling. Turn the heat off and slowly mix in the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon.

  3. Plop the play dough on some wax paper to cool and knead through to get it nice and stretchy and smooth!

Easy Playdough recipe | essential oil infused playdough for toddlers



motherhoodLora GradyComment