Smelly Playdough Recipe
Making this smelly playdough recipe is easy to do and a lovely way to make playdough a little more special. I’ve found that children enjoy the olfactory stimuli of this playdough and it provides an exceptional extrasensory experience.
You can experiment with various flavors / smells and find ones that you and your children particularly enjoy.
What you need
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup salt
- 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon) cream of tartar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (coconut oil, olive oil, etc. also work)
- Food colouring (optional – some teas will give it natural colour)
- Teabags (flavors of your choice but I’ve found that children particularly like herbal/fruity flavors for this).
- Spatula and/or spoon
- Stovetop or microwave
- Combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt and cream of tar) in a bowl.
2. Bring water to a boil (you may need slightly more due to evaporation depending on whether it is boiled in a pot or a microwave).
3. Place 2-3 teabags in the water during or after heating and let it steep for several minutes.
4. Remove the teabags and re-heat the water to bring it back to a simmer.
5. Take the water off the heat (if on the stove) and add the vegetable oil and food colouring (optional).
6. Then slowly pour in the dry ingredients while mixing them.
7. Once the mixture is cool enough to handle, take it out and knead it together.
Questions to ask
- What do you notice?
- How does it smell? How does it feel?
- What can you make?
- What could you use to play with it? What could you create with it?
- Show me how you can roll it, pinch it, squeeze it, push it, cut it, squash it, pull it, etc.
What they get from it – Smelly Playdough Recipe
If you make the playdough with children, it is an excellent way for them to learn basic cooking skills. They will also get to practice measuring the ingredients and seeing how they combine and are heated to create something new.
Playdough is fantastic for helping children to develop fine motor skills including dexterity, manipulative skills, control and strength. These are all essential to help them begin to write. Children can also do things like Dough Disco to help them develop these skills (see below).
This smelly playdough recipe can smell delicious, and my children love playing with it. We have used a raspberry tea, chamomile & turmeric tea, berry tea, green tea, etc. and they enjoy all of the different smells!
Take it further
You can also add some loose parts to children’s playdough play, so that they can make all sorts of creations. Sometimes I’ve included things like old tools and bolts which my children loved using to build robots, motorbikes and insects. We also have added such things as sticks, rocks, beads or other bits we have lying around. Children can use their imaginations to create whatever they like!
Another option is to join in with things like dough disco to make developing motor skills with playdough fun. There are Dough Disco videos on YouTube that are fun ways for children to build up strength.
You may also want to see my posts on special playdough recipes such as aromatherapy playdough (coming soon) and Pumpkin Spice Playdough Recipe. I also have some alternative playdough recipes such as Homemade Playdough without Salt and Edible Homemade Cloud Dough Recipe. There is also my classic playdough recipe Homemade Cooked Playdough.