A fun little crafty post today to tuck away for a rainy day with your children.
I’m sure many of you have made home-made play dough before; it’s easy and non toxic and a great alternative to the store bought varieties. For an extra twist, we tried dying them with natural products we had mostly at home and it was fun for the kids to see colour coming from the raspberries and the cocoa and turning their play dough gorgeous pastel colours. Adding essential oils makes for an even nicer sensory experience; by the end everything smells amazing, the benefits of the oils have absorbed into little hands and the air, and your hands feel so nourished. I highly recommend adding oils to your home made play dough! These also make for thoughtful gifts to share with friends and family.
Give it a try!
Here are a few natural dyes we played around with:
Light pink – Place one cup raspberries and one cup water in a pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently, for about twenty minutes, or until reduced by about half. Allow to cool, then strain.
Purple – Place one cup blueberries and one cup water in a pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently, for about twenty minutes, or until reduced by about half. Allow to cool, then strain.
Dark pink – Grate a medium sized beetroot, and place in a saucepan along with one cup of water. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently, for about twenty minutes. Allow to cool, then strain.
Yellow – Whisk 1 teaspoon of dried turmeric into 1/2 a cup of hot water. Allow to cool.
Light brown – Whisk 1 teaspoon cocoa into ½ a cup of hot water. Allow to cool.
To make the playdough:
FOR EACH COLOUR
1/2 cup salt (the finer the salt, the better, smoother dough you will get)
1 ½ cups flour
1 tbsp cream of tartar (from any grocery store – this will help preserve your play dough and also keeps it stiff)
1 tbsp olive oil
plus 1/2 cup naturally coloured water, see above for variations.
Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the oil, and then gradually drizzle in the coloured water, while mixing with a fork, until you get a dough like consistency. You might need to add a bit more plain water here and do away with the fork and use your hands to really knead it all together.
Add five drops of your favourite essential oils and knead this into the dough.
Yellow – Lemon essential oil
Light pink – Pink grapefruit essential oil
Dark pink – Rose geranium essential oil
Purple – Lavender essential oil
Light brown – Sandalwood essential oil
Store the play dough in an air tight container, and keep somewhere cool. Due to the natural fruit and vegetable components in this recipe, the dough will only keep for about 3 weeks. If the play dough starts to dry out, just add a few drops of water and knead until smooth.
Add some rolling pins and cookie cutters and you’ve got a fun crafty session with your little chooks.