Make your own scented natural playdough

Not only is playing with this dough a sensory activity – making it is too! Have fun personalising this recipe by using a few drops of essential oils to scent it, and add colour with food colouring.

This guide is part of our Sense Arts, Sport & Wellbeing programme. This activity can be done at a time that suits you, either in your own space or in an educational setting.

Making a shape in the natural scented purple playdough with a cookie cutter

Who is this for?

 This is a wellbeing activity for people who are deafblind or have complex disabilities and can be enjoyed by anyone.

Why does this make a difference?

This is a sensory activity that promotes wellbeing and relaxation, helping people use their senses to connect with their surroundings by exploring touch, smell, and supporting independent choice.

How to do this activity

A bottle of yellow oil, two bowls, flour in a red packet, paints, essential oils and a measuring spoon

What you’ll need

  • 8 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 60ml warm water
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Essential oils
  • Large and medium bowls
  • Food colouring (optional)
Mixing the food colouring in the bowl, next to a bowl of salt and flour

Step 1

Mix the flour and salt in the large bowl. In the smaller bowl, combine 60ml warm water with a few drops of food colouring, and mix in the vegetable oil and essential oil if using. Pour the coloured liquid over the flour and salt, and combine with a spoon.
Two hands kneading the light purple dough

Step 2

Dust a clean work surface with flour and knead for a few min until smooth and pliable. Have fun experimenting with different colours and smells! The combinations are endless.

Step 1

  • Store in an airtight container.