Sensory Play using Essential Oils for Kids and Toddlers

Today’s Post is about Sensory Play using Essential Oils! 

Essential oils have not only contributed to my family’s wellness in so many ways the past few years but they have also made craft time even more engaging. I’m always searching for ways to keep my kid’s little hand’s busy, yet provide them a learning experience.

Sensory activities and getting messy are always their favorite (and keep them entertained the longest!).

I have learned to embrace the mess over the years! I have also learned that adding essential oils to basic play activities truly can enhance the experience in many ways. It expands their creative play by incorporating scent into their pretend “stories” and it can even be used as a way to calm them by adding scents known to relax the senses, such as lavender.

One activity all 3 of my kids enjoy (and truthfully mom too!) is playing in water beads. These squishy clear beads are so amazing and fun to play with. They have played with them on top of a light box and outside in a baby pool with their feet. Sometimes I add a few drops of essential oils into the water when I’m making them, so it creates an even greater sensory play experience.

I have used Lavender, Gentle Baby blend, Stress Away blend, and Orange essential oils with success.

Another super simple way to incorporate essential oils into play is adding them directly to homemade Play Dough or Cloud Dough. The oils I like to add to Play Dough are Tangerine, Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint but you can add any scent you enjoy. My favorite way to incorporate oils into Cloud Dough is to add Cinnamon Bark oil and give the kiddos kitchen accessories like measuring cups & bowls. If I am feeling adventurous we even add oats to the mix and they pretend to make apple pie. Oils like Lavender or Thieves are also fantastic choices to add into Cloud Dough.

Below are the basic recipes I use for both.

Basic Play Dough

• 2 cups flour

• 1 cup salt

• 2 teaspoons cream of tartar

• 1 tablespoon oil (I think coconut oil creates a softer dough)

• 2 cups cold water

• A few drops of any essential oil

• Natural Food coloring, optional


Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar, oil, food coloring (if using), and water in a medium saucepan.

Stir over low-medium heat for about 5 minutes, until play dough reaches the right consistency (dough starts forming a ball). Remove from pan & place on wax paper. Let cool, knead in essential oils until it is distributed evenly throughout.

Store in airtight container.

Basic Cloud Dough

  • 8 cups flour
  • 1 cup vegetable oil/olive oil
  • 4-5 drops essential oil

Lastly, an effortless way to incorporate essential oils into play is during normal craft time. I add a drop or two of a different oil to each color when painting and it becomes a sensory explosion. The citrus oils are especially fabulous for this activity and the kids never fail to get paint all over their noses while trying to sniff the paper!

This Post was

Written by Jessica Randal


2nd Instagram

About Jessica

Jessica is a mother of 3 children ages 10, 4, & 3! A mom who is trying to get through this haze of motherhood.

She tries to keep her kids busy with outside exploring, messy play, & encouraging lots of pretend.working mom & homeschool mom wannabe that tries my hardest to give my kids a

She is a working mom, who happens to be a Homeschooling mom wannabe. Jessica on a constant quest for physical and emotional wellness which has led her down the path of adding Essential Oils into her family’s daily routines.

Using Essential Oils in everyday life is something she feels passionate about!

Please Check her out on INSTAGRAM! I do love how beautiful her gallery is!

If you loved this post. You will also love My DIY PLAYDOUGH Post from several months ago RIGHT HERE!

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  • Reply
    May 8, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    This was such a neat post, I never would have thought about using essential oil in this way! Thanks so much for sharing this awesome idea with us 🙂

  • Reply
    May 9, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing I never thought to add essential oils to sensory play will try it out on my children

  • Reply
    May 9, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Essential oils in play dough! Such a brilliant idea. I think I know someone who would actually love doing this.

  • Reply
    May 10, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    This looks like FUN learning all the way. Count me in – any day and anytime. What a great way to engage the young minds. I love the idea of the oils in the water beads and paint.

  • Reply
    May 11, 2017 at 1:34 am

    this seems awesome. (though i am yet to accept and swallow the messy play) I loved the idea of using essential oils in kids play. must be theraputic?

    I do make play dough at home though! flour & cream of TT is awesome 🙂

    I blog at

  • Reply
    Zainab Dokrat
    May 11, 2017 at 7:21 am

    I love this, I am always looking for posts like this that inspire me. Might start this with my class next term Insha-Allah. (www, and

  • Reply
    May 11, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    This is awesome! I think I will be so into DIY things like this when I have kids, in shaa Allah 😉

  • Reply
    May 12, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    السلام عليكم ورحمة اللة وبركاته
    Barak Allaah feeki for sharing! I did not know many practical uses for essential oils besides baths and homemade grooming/beauty products, but it sounds so awesome integrating them into play sessions, Allaahumma barik. I think my favourite idea is adding it into paint, my adult self might enjoy that too, ma shaa Allaah la quwata illa bIllaah.

  • Reply
    May 12, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Adding sensory oil is new to me….would love to try this tip next time when me and my daughter play with water balls….we too love to play water balls….

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