Calming Homemade Play Dough Recipe for Kids

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I love a good homemade play dough recipe that is chemical free, uses things I have on hand AND serves a purpose outside of creativity.

This homemade play dough recipe does not call for cream of tartar and requires no cooking or boiling water. It does however use essential oils which is great aromatherapy.

The essential oil I used is Valor, but you could also use Peace and Calming or Lavender.

What I love about Valor is that it relieves anxiety, helps with insomnia and is great for helping with bad dreams.

This play dough is the perfect quiet play that allows kids to wind down before bed.

Let me show you how to make it.

calming homemade play dough recipe for kids from crystalandcomp.comYou Will Need:

  • 4 c flour
  • 2 c water
  • 1  1/2  c salt
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • some dye of your choice (I used the gel type from Wilton that I use for icing)
  • 10 drops of Valor (you can buy essential oils online here)
  • parchment paper, for kneading (optional)
  • some extra flour, for kneading
ingredients for Calming Homemade Play Dough Recipe for Kids

In a large bowl add the flour and the salt.

Stir to combine.

In a small bowl or cup mix the water, the dye and the Valor essential oil.

Pour it over the flour mixture.

Add the vegetable oil now too.

how to make calming play dough

Mix with a spoon until well combine.

Then take a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with flour.

Dump the play dough onto the surface and knead and mix until no longer sticky.

homemade play dough with essential oils

Smell it. Oh, I love it.

My kids had a lot of fun with this.

Grab some toys and cookie cutters and just play.

homemade play dough recipes

My boys of course grabbed Legos.

Luke (8) took this picture. He was very proud of himself!

Calming Homemade Play Dough Recipe for Kids

This is a great calming activity.

If you run a child care facility, this would be a great activity for kids who have separation anxiety when they are dropped off. I remember it always being so hard to drop off my oldest at preschool when he was little. The twins were the same way. This would be a great aromatherapy activity to bring peace and alleviate the anxiety.

Obviously it is perfect for us parents and homescoolers too!

Store it in a ziplock bag with all the air pushed out.

More Homemade Play Dough Recipes:

Looking to buy essential oils? You can buy the starter kit which comes with 11 bottles of oils Including the Valor for this play dough recipe, a diffuser and more! Here is how you can sign up to do this and/or buy essential oils online.

essential oils starter kit crystalandcomp
Calming Homemade Play Dough Recipe for Kids

Calming Homemade Play Dough Recipe for Kids

Making this calming playdough that has wonderful essential oils inside and is great for sensory play.


  • 4 c flour
  • 2 c water
  • 1 1/2 c salt
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • some dye of your choice
  • 10 drops of Valor
  • parchment paper
  • some extra flour


  1. In a large bowl combine the flour and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the Valor essential oil, water, and food coloring dye.
  2. Pour the water mixture over the flour mixture.
  3. Add the vegetable oil and stir to combine.
  4. Once combined, pour the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper or floured surface.
  5. Knead the mixture to combine thoroughly.
  6. Store in an air tight container.


  1. Haha, just today I was searching pinterest for a play dough recipe that did NOT involve cream of tartar. 🙂 We ended up making one with cheap hair conditioner and cornstarch, but this salt dough is now next on my list! Thanks, Crystal!

    Visiting from the WFMW linkup, btw!

    1. Yay! I hope you enjoy it!

      We’ve made the conditioner and cornstarch version too. They are all fun!

  2. Ooh, neat idea! I just learned about Essential Oils from a friend. This is a clever way to use them! I might have to try it out.

  3. This is great I usually make calming playdough for my boys with magnesium oil and peace and calming. I’ll have to try Valor for the next batch I make.

  4. That’s a great idea! Thanks! But it’s possible substitute flour for pancake mix?

  5. Doesn’t the veg. oil make it leave grease spots?

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