The smell of Christmas is peppermint for many and this peppermint essential oil Christmas playdough incorporates that into an activity. There are a lot of possibilities for play with this activity. Kids can use their imaginations to come up with new ways to play and enjoy.
Peppermint Essential Oil Christmas Playdough Recipe:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 Tbsp. cream of tartar
1 Tbsp. oil
8-12 drops of green food colouring
3-5 drops of peppermint essential oil
1 cup boiling water
optional: green or silver glitter
I find that the easiest way to make playdough is to use the KitchenAid mixer. Add the flour, salt, cream of tartar to the KitchenAid mixer. With the dough beater (the flat one), begin mixing on low and add the oil, food colouring, and peppermint essential oil. As it mixes, pour in the boiling water and continue to mix on low until it resembles playdough texture.
Remove the dough from the mixer and knead it for 30 seconds to a minute. If you want to add glitter, add it in at this point and mix it through by kneading.
I wanted this playdough activity to encourage open-ended play so I set out quite an assortment of items with the playdough. When I create an invitation to create with playdough, I like to use a party platter serving tray. It makes everything accessible and look appealing so that the kids can just dive right in. This time, what I included in the invitation to create with peppermint playdough was:
- jingle bells
- coloured pushpins
- mini Christmas ornaments
- cookie cutters (I put out a Christmas tree, a stocking, a star, a cross, and one that is shaped like a candy cane one way or a J the other so it could also be a J for Jesus)
- peppermint essential oil playdough
Big caveat here: I was using this with older kids, so I felt comfortable setting out the pushpins for them to use and they were the favourite item, BUT they are sharp and wouldn’t be appropriate to use with younger children. And of course, as with all sensory activities, adult supervision is recommended.
My kids explored and created with the peppermint playdough for hours. One pounded the dough with their palms while another preferred to roll it out with a rolling pin. They shaped it using their hands or the cookie cutters. They pressed beads and mini ornaments and pushpins (tacks) and jingle bells into the shapes. They discovered that once playdough is inside jingle bells, they no longer jingle!
Sensory Play Specifics:
There is so much sensory input with this one activity. The smell of the peppermint essential oil is an alerting scent. This can help with kids who may be low energy or sluggish. Due to the scent, the olfactory sensory system is engaged. The activity also engages the visual and tactile senses while children explore colour and texture through touch and sight and even the proprioception sensory system as they knead or push and pull the dough.
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