DIY Kid-safe Aromatherapy Play Dough

Growing up I loved play dough and I remember using it to make fake food from a young age (I love how early we know what we were born to With the virtual lives we all live these days, I find it refreshing to see kids playing with actual toys and play dough ranks high on my list as it teaches kids motor skills, allow them to be creative and practice detachment (when they put the play dough back in the little containers!!) 

I also know that even though it shouldn't, play dough always finds a way into the mouths of little ones, and even the so called non-toxic options contain hard to find ingredient lists, artificial fragrances and preservatives, making them not as safe as we think. In order to keep the fun going, why not naturally re-invent it in your kitchen?!

But first, gluten or no gluten?

There is nothing wrong with making a flour-based play dough, but a kid that is gluten-intolerant may need a gluten-free version. So I am offering both options below to help you decide what is best for your family. 

How to Colour Your Play Dough?


When it comes to colouring, there are natural options available, such as turmeric and beet juice, but they can leave hard to clean stains and may cause the play dough to spoil fast. So I did use food dyes to colour them, the only time you will ever see food dyes in my kitchen! There are some natural food dyes in the market, but you may need to order them online. 

Essential Oils

There are various kid-safe DoTerra essential oils, but for play dough I recommend 2 specific ones, Wild Orange and Lavender - two of my favorite for kids! Wild Orange helps promote creativity and it is invigorating yet calming. Lavender is the oil of communication, which can help kids express themselves, while being calming and perfect before bed time. I specifically recommend DoTerra essential oils, so if you need help choosing the right ones for you, feel free to contact me here or click here for more information on how aromatherapy can help your family. 

Ingredients (regular)

  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp fractionated coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 7 drops DoTerra essential oil
  • 2 cups coloured water

Ingredients (gluten-free)

  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (millet or rice)
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 2 cups coloured water
  • 1 tbsp fractionated coconut oil (or olive oil) 
  • 7 drops DoTerra essential oil


Combine all ingredients, except for the essential oils in a medium sauce pan. Using a spatula, stir all ingredients over medium heat until a ball forms (about 3 minutes). As soon as the ball starts to form, be prepared to remove it from the heat to avoid overcooking the play dough.  

Once the ball is formed, let it cool on parchment paper, before adding the drops of kid-safe DoTerra essential oil, such as Lavender or Wild Orange. Knead the play dough until the oil is properly combined. Store the play dough in an airtight container in the fridge for loads of fun!

Play safe, the natural way!

A big squeeze!