Make your own scented 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.

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

What you’ll need

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

    • 8 tbsp plain flour
    • 2 tbsp salt
    • 60ml warm water
    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
    • Essential oils
    • Large and medium bowls
    • Food colouring (optional)

Step 1

Mixing the food colouring in the bowl, next to a bowl of salt and flour

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.

Step 2

Two hands kneading the light purple dough

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.

Top tips

Finished scented playdough next to a rolling pin, in red blue and purple

  • Store in an airtight container.