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Essential Oil Play Dough Recipe

Add essential oils to your play dough to get a fantastic smelling play dough with all the benefits of essential oils with this easy no cook play dough recipe!

My favorite Play Dough Recipe! Essential oil play dough from

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My daughter is obsessed with play dough.  O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D.  She would play with it morning, noon and night if I let her.  But oh the smell.  It isn’t bad but it is just so distinct.  With this little obsession going strong I started making my own play dough.  I love the recipe because it is super simple and comes out silky smooth and perfectly squishy for those little fingers.  Even with the homemade stuff though it still has it’s own funky smell.

Then one day it hit me!  I needed to slap my essential oils on that play dough.  Or rather make a batch and incorporate it in.  Not only would this be super awesome because it would smell good to me, it makes the play dough engage more of the senses as my daughter plays AND as a bonus she gets all the goodness of essential oils while she plays!  Win – win!  or win – win – win as it seems.

Finally a recipe to make smell good play dough!

Essential Oil No Cook Play Dough Recipe

Making the dough is super simple and the oils incorporate perfectly into the recipe.  I used peppermint, citrus fresh, lemon, lime, thieves, and lavender for my play dough. You can use any oil you choose, but make sure to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure that it is safe for your age child.

 To start, mix the flour, salt, and cream of tarter in a large bowl.  Combine the essential oil of choice with the vegetable oil and stir into the dry ingredients.  Bring your water to a boil.  Add any food coloring to the water and then add about 1 cup of the water, stir and slowly add the remaining water until the play dough reaches the perfect consistency and then knead the dough until smooth.  Store your dough in a ziploc bag or air tight container.

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Super easy, super soft, super smell good play dough recipe at

Because I have grand ideas, and really just can never do things the easy way, I had to have 6 colors and flavors of play dough.  I didn’t need a gazillion pounds of play dough though so I split the batch into multiple flavors.

If you are like me and want to make a bunch of different colors and flavors of dough from one batch, you can do it, but it is a bit messier and a bit more work!  Just make the dough as mentioned above, but hold the oil and food coloring until the end. Once you stir in the hot water and knead the dough, split it into your desired number of colors/flavors.  Take each piece and first add the oil in by flattening into a disc and adding a couple of drops (depending on the amount of dough you are working with) and continuing to knead until it is spread throughout.  Then repeat this step with the food coloring by flattening adding and then kneading the dough (expect rainbow hands) until the color is evenly distributed.  I wish I would have taken an after picture of my hands to give you fair warning!

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website.


5.0 from 2 reviews
Essential Oil Play Dough Recipe
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 10-12 drops essential oil (more or less may be needed depending on the oil you choose)
  • 1.5 cups boiling water
  • food coloring - optional
  1. Mix the flour, salt, and cream of tarter together in a large bowl.
  2. Combine your essential oil with the vegetable oil and mix into the dry ingredients.
  3. Boil the water and add food coloring directly to water.
  4. Pour 1 cup of your boiling water into the mixture and stir, adding the additional ½ cup slowly until desired consistency is reached.
  5. Knead for 3-5 minutes or until dough is smooth and perfectly squishy for play.
  6. Enjoy!


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 My favorite play dough recipe at

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  1. says

    I used to make play dough for my girls when they were little because it was so affordable and it really sparked creativity. I never knew about essential oils, though, and I think this is a great addition. It would be interesting to track if you children behave differently depending on which batch they are playing with… a fun little science experiment!

  2. T says

    I made a mint green color with peppermint oil to use in OT Spring activities. The peppermint is alerting and adds a nice sensory component. The kids have loved the smell and feel of this recipe. When I have time and money, I’d like to make a variety of scents to work on olfactory discrimination (guess the smell type game) Do you know of a good source for essential oils that are safe for kids?

    • Derrick Donley says

      Young Living has a line specifically for kids, called KidScents. As always, there are some oils that are considered less safe for kids, and others that are safe when diluted.

  3. Angeline Gallant says

    This is my new “go to play dough recipe”. I made it for the first time yesterday at 10am for my son and he didn’t even want to stop for meals insisting that I feed him while he continues to play (he is 4 yrs old). He played with it till 6pm when he had to begin getting ready for bed on the promise he could play with it again as soon as he woke up. He was up at 4:30am to play with it. It is a huge hit! The best part of this dough is it never dried out after all those hours. I”m truly amazed!

  4. Kim says

    The play dough lasts, do you know how long the constituents in the oils continue to work? i.e if make lavender how long will it support calming effects

    • says

      Hi Kim! The play dough will last around 6 months but I am really not qualified to speak on the longevity of the oils. I would think you could just knead in some more if you felt like it had all dissipated.

  5. Kendra says

    So the picture of the several balls of dough, is that one batch? I am trying to figure out hiw much it will make, whether i need to half the recipe, and what size containers to buy – 4, 8, or 12 ounces. Any information would be appreciated!


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