Excite and Explore

One mom, one toddler and a passion for learning and adventure.

An Invitation to Play With Lavender Calming Playdough

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   It has rained all week, and I don’t mean sprinkled here and there, I mean poured. We have been going a little stir crazy being stuck in doors so much and when the little one woke up from his nap today he was angry, at everything and anything. He cried and screamed and threw his toys and thrashed when I tried to hold him. I’m still not quite sure why this happens but sometimes he just wakes up mad, though it seems to happen when he hasn’t slept as long as he usually does. Once I got him calmed down I decided we were going to take another shot at playdough. I tried playdough when he was, maybe 11 months old but he really had no interest in it and I think he was just to young. This is a really simple playdough recipe that is no cook, because he just wasn’t up for hanging around while I made a cooked version and it turned out really well. It is as follows:

1 Cup of Salt

1 Cup of Flour

1/2 Cup Water

Food colouring ( We used 14 drops of red and 14 drops of blue to get our light purple colour)

Lavender Essential Oil

Combine in a bowl your salt, flour and water. Add in your food colouring and mix. We mixed ours with our hands, because I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to wash the mixer. This was actually surprisingly difficult to do by hand and while trying to mix in our food colouring I had to take a break because my arms and hands were sore and our dough still looked like a mixture of blue and red streaks which made some type of American Pride type dough, which while nice was not our objective. I probably should have gotten out the mixer but while I like to do things the easy way I am also stubborn and something inside me had already decided that I was doing it by hand ( I’m pretty sure my spirit animal is some kind of mix between a donkey and Jenifer Laurence.) so I added in a shake of lavender oil and kept going. What I’m trying to say but will never admit is that you may want to get out your mixer. It turned out really nicely (eventually) and I gathered some materials and set up a little invitation to play for the wee man. If you are unfamiliar with an Invitation to play here are some excellent articles than can explain it in greater detail.



   Basically it means setting up an arrangement of materials that invites your child to explore, learn, and create independently. Lavender is considered to be a calming oil and I felt it was just the thing we needed, and it smelled wonderful! This was our little invitation to play.


   Gray has a bit of an issue with new sensory experiences, he is always hesitant to touch them at first, so I always make sure to include lots of things to scoop and prod with, which usually leads to him grabbing it and exploring it with his hands once he has had some time to admire from afar with some type of utensil. I would say that he is ready for playdough and I’m glad we tried again, because he had a really great time with this. I sat back with a much needed coffee and watched as he grabbed the spoon and prodded the lump of dough, and smiled. Soon he moved on to the popsicle sticks and eventually he grabbed it and pulled of a clump to squish around.


    He also discovered that he could make a cool pattern in the dough by pressing the pinecone into it which he was pretty delighted with. This dough will have to be stored in an airtight container to be kept soft once your done playing with it. I’d love to see some of your playdough recipes, thank you for joining us at Excite and Explore!


Author: exciteandexplore

I am a mom to a wonderful toddler and together we are exploring our world and learning more about it every day.

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