I have mentioned that I am an art therapist/teacher and that I love all things clay. I teach pottery as often as possible and do my own work when I can get to the studio. Working with your hands can be calming, centering and focusing. We do a lot of tactile play at home too.
Just the other morning my three year old beat me downstairs and had already gotten out the Citrus Fresh scented Aroma Dough we had made! She loves it. I keep the Stress Away scented kind in my purse to hand to her when she needs something to squeeze and be entertained with in different places! (think shopping carts while waiting in checkout lines!) Play dough can also be integrated into learning for preschoolers- make snake letters or shapes out of it, or draw or write in it. Discuss and sculpt body parts and faces too. Working in different modalities solidifies and encourages learning. Tactile play and homemade play dough got kicked up a notch when essential oils found their way into it!
Making homemade playdough is relatively easy and if you do the kind where you cook it on the stove it lasts so long! Here is the recipe that I use and that lots of other sites claim to love too:
Play Dough Recipe:
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoon cream of tartar (find it in the spice section)
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup water
Mix first 4 ingredients in a pan. Add water and mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 3 – 5 minutes. Dough will become difficult to stir and form a “clump”. Remove from stove and knead for 5 minutes–add food coloring if so desired during kneading process. Play dough will keep for a long time stored in a covered plastic container or plastic sandwich bag. I took this write up from another site. You’ll see on her site she suggests adding cinnamon to the dough for a multi-sensory experience.
I couldn’t resist going one step further and I split the dough four ways and added four different colors and four different scents to it. When we had a playdate each of the kids got to each enjoy different scents and trade and share and decide which was their favorite! Some oils that worked well in the Play Dough and can translate to smooth and calm play time:
Citrus Fresh (in the old kit),
R.C. (in the new kit),
You can use different scents at different times depending on the effect you are looking for! Peppermint would be a great one for during homework breaks to boost alertness! And Stress Away is great for mommies and kids during those homework breaks!
For more fun activities like these that are kid friendly follow me on Instagram or Join my Facebook group!
I am an eat, play, work at home Mom- a part time new-mom's support facilitator- full time dreamer of clay- an all the time thinker- a trained art therapist- and a home biz empower-er who never has enough minutes in the day, clay in my hands or ideas in my brain to create all the things! Also: I am mildly invested in our families health using nature's tools! Just kidding. That's my passion and message for others: Your life is essential. Take back your health!
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