What kid doesn't love play dough; squishy, soft and colorful. From rolling, to flattening, to molding, kids from the earliest of ages are benefiting from this form of play. Little ones are building muscles in their fingers which will encourage fine motor skills such as cutting, writing and using scissors. Children of all ages benefit from the use of their imagination. Creating with play dough allows them to explore their minds or their surroundings for ideas of what to make. One reason why I love home made play dough is the lack of packaging full of branding and examples. I noticed this early with modeling clay she got for her birthday, she was very strict about following the book as a reference anything else was deemed wrong in her eyes. Sometimes this can be inspirational when experiencing a play dough block... The other reason why I love home made play dough is because it's non-toxic, probably the most obvious one! Although PLAY DOH is advertised as non-toxic let's be real for a minute. The artificial coloring alone is enough to cause skin rashes. However, other ingredients include: a starch based binder, a retrogradation inhibitor, lubricant, surfactant, preservative, hardener, humectant, fragrance, mineral oil and boric acid. Our skin absorbs 60% of what it comes in contact with, then the chemicals pass into the blood stream. You can look up what each of these ingredients are linked to online, its no secret but I won't bore you with the gritty details. Because really you all just want to know hoot make natural play doh!!
One last thing about play dough... it is a calming activity, know as a stress reducer. Listen up Moms & Dads, this means it is a great activity for you to sit down and bond with your child whilst rolling out some of your daily stressors. In this recipe I add drops of Lavender essential oil to each color ball to aid in relaxation, concentration and well just to make it smell so darn good.
NATURAL LAVENDER PLAY DOUGH RECIPE
1 cup of flour
1/4 cup of salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp of veggie/canola oil
1/2-1 cup hot water
1 drop Lavender essential oil
5 drops natural food coloring
1. Mix well the flour, salt, cream of tartar in a bowl
2. In a different bowl add the veggie oil, lavender oil, food coloring and 1/2 cup of hot water, stir
3. Add the flour mix to the liquid mix
4. Using hands, spatula, spoon mix the ingredients, sort of folding it over on its self. Mix until it forms a dough like substance
* you may need to add the rest of the water slowly if its already dough and getting flakey. I found the whole cup of water made the whole mixture too liquidy. Either way, you either add more water or add more flour until you get a soft dough
5. Lightly dust a surface with flour, scoop out dough and now knead dough with the flour. Keep kneading and rolling until it is not longer sticky. You will know when it feels right!
* Natural food colors stay pretty light like pastels but you can make them richer by adding lots of coloring!
6. To store ( as its starts to dry up pretty quickly as it has no preservatives) place in glass tuppaware or some using ziplock bag, plastic wrap. I prefer glass. The cream of tartar helps it last longer, usually no more than a month I say!