Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Naturally Dyed Play Dough That Smells Good Too

Play dough. What a classic! It's so inexpensive and easy to make, why wouldn't you? I don't keep food colourings in my pantry so I needed an alternative. The thing is this play dough is coloured not by chemicals, but by food.  It can also be spiked with essential oils for different mood benefits like calming, energising or focussing. It also helps kids learn that colours are all around us in nature, and that we don't need chemicals to make things colourful. Not to mention all the creativity that playing with play dough encourages. What a great kids activity!

Naturally Dyed Play Dough

Basic Recipe - makes white 

1/2 Cup Plain Flour (totally doesn't matter how cheap or refined it is)

1/2 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Salt
1/2 Tbs Oil (whichever you have)
1/2 Tbs Cream of Tartar

Add all ingredients to a saucepan on low heat and stir while they cook and mix together. It goes a bit lumpy and sticks to the pan but as soon as you get it out of the pot and knead it with your hands it holds together beautifully, and is soft and perfect. Keep in an airtight container - the salt acts as a preservative.

To make the colours:

Add any of the following to 1 Cup of water and boil until desired colour is established. Strain off any solid bits and use that water in the above recipe. Change the intensity of the colour by adding more or less and let me know if you do others that work well. 

Yellow: 1 Tbs ground turmeric
Dark Green: 1 Tbs spirulina powder
Red/Hot Pink: 2 Tbs raspberries, strawberries or grated beetroot
Blue: 1/2 Cup grated purple cabbage
Purple: 2 Tbs Blueberries

Add Essential Oils:

You can add 5 drops of any essential oil you like such as - 

Lemon - for uplifting
Peppermint - for energy
Lavender - for settling
Rosemary - for memory
Basil - for focus

There you have it. Eco friendly. Additive free. Cheap. Homemade. Easy. Fun. What's not to love! The pig certainly enjoyed his bath in it ;)

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