Calming Lavender Scented Play Dough

Check out this neat activity! A calming lavender scented play dough makes for a good sensory outlet for kids, as lavender is a soothing scent.  You can make the play dough whatever color you’d like, making an opportunity for color-naming practice. Also good for hand strength and tactile-input!

What you’ll need:

– 2 cups flour
-1/2 cup salt
-3 Tbsp. cream of tartar
-1 Tbsp.  lavender or 3 drops lavender essential oil
-2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
-2 cups water
-purple food coloring (or whatever color of your choosing!)
glitter (optional)


Mix the dry ingredients including the lavender together in a pot and stir in the oil, water and food coloring. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, being sure to scrape the sides and bottom. Cook until dough forms a ball. Remove from heat. Place it on a piece of wax paper. Knead. If you are adding glitter, add it in at this point. Let cool. Store in an airtight container or in a resealable bag.

KitchenAid instructions:

If you’re not a fan of getting a sore arm from stirring the playdough, you can instead make it in a KitchenAid mixer. To use this method (which I highly recommend!), put the dry ingredients into the mixer. Add the oil and food colouring and begin mixing with the flat beater (the one for making dough). Add 2 cups of boiling water and continue to mix until a playdough texture is achieved.

Then take the dough out of the mixer and knead for one minute. If you’re adding glitter, add it at this stage and knead to combine it throughout the dough. 

Once the play dough is made, it can be played with just like regular play dough!

Ideas for Sensory Play with Play Dough:

  • squish
  • knead
  • pull
  • smash
  • cut with plastic scissors (great for fine motor)
  • twist
  • roll
  • use a rolling pin
  • press cookie cutters in
  • stretch
  • stamp
  • play
  • press buttons, beads, pipe cleaners, pompoms, dry pasta, shells, small toys, rocks, sticks, pine cones, googly eyes, leaves, key chains, or gems in

For kids who are sensory avoiding, you can put the play dough into a medium sized resealable bag and seal. The child can then squish and squeeze to their heart’s content without the texture of the dough actually touching their hands. They can also trace shapes or letters into the dough through the bag. 

Let us know what you think of this activity!

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