Homemade Playdough with Essential Oils


If you’re like our family and at home this week instead of some warm, sunny, delightful tropical beach somewhere, here’s a quick and easy activity for the kiddos!

How to Make Homemade Playdough with Essential Oils:

There are a million recipes for homemade playdough out there.  My experience has been like Goldilocks and the Three Bears:  This recipe is too lumpy. This recipe is too slimy. Then, I found this one at Scentsable Living and it is just right! All credit to Tanya Patterson at Scentsable Living.

The simple ingredients needed for this recipe were things I already had on hand, and the process was less than 15 minutes from start to finish.

What you’ll need:

  • small to medium saucepan
  • flour
  • water
  • cream of tartar
  • vegetable oil (we used grapeseed but olive or another works).
  • salt
  • essential oil (optional)
  • food coloring (optional)

The “How-To”:

Step 1: Gather ingredients: small to medium saucepan, flour, water, cream of tartar, salt, grapeseed oil.  Essential oil and food coloring optional.



Step 2: In small saucepan, mix dry ingredients: 1c flour, 2 tsp cream of tartar, 1/3 c salt




Step 3:  Add wet ingredients:  1c water, 1 tbsp oil.  Mix well.



Step 4:  Heat on medium to low heat & stir until it thickens (approx 2-3 min).  I heated it on 2.5 until the dough began to stick to the spoon.



Step 5: (Optional) Add essential oil of choice and/or food coloring



Step 6: Knead until color is spread throughout, then play until your heart’s content.




Step 7:  Store: Dough can be stored in airtight containers or ziploc bags.




Need a Gluten Free Alternative?  Dislike food coloring?  
If you wish to modify ingredients for your family, use arrowroot or cornstarch in place of the flour to make it Gluten free.  And check out these dye free alternatives.

Why use essential oils?

I love the idea of adding essential oils as I try to incorporate them into our lives on a daily basis. From coping with winter illnesses, healing cuts or minimizing bruises, or whipping up lemon poppyseed muffins, I can’t get enough of them.

Adding essential oil left us with yummy smelling dough instead of the conventional “playdough stink” that never leaves your hands. We’ve used lemon, lavender, and lime from Young Living Oils but there are so many oil combinations you could try.

  • Lavendar:  promotes relaxation, calming. A great activity before nap or bed time.
  • Lemon, Tangerine, or Lime:  Promotes mental clarity and just smells happy!
  • Peppermint:  Encourages creativity.

Share your favorite recipes for sensory play with us by leaving a comment below!


  1. That sounds amazing Sarah. Never thought about using EOs in play dough! Can’t wait to try. Peppermint would be fun with red and white play dough especially at Christmas.

  2. Sarah, thank you so very much for sharing this recipe on your blog and I LOVE how you have compared your experience to Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We have had the same experience. Our play-doh has kept in an airtight container for up to three months and we LOVE trying different scents each time we make a batch.

    Enjoy and God bless you and your readers as you have fun creating memories with your little ones that will last a lifetime.

    ~Tanya Patterson~
    Scentsable Living

    • And thank you Tanya for being the author and originator of this idea!!! We tell everyone we know about you 🙂


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