Orange-Mint Scented Homemade Playdough

“We Don’t Stop Playing Because We Grow Old; We Grow Old Because We Stop Playing.

George Bernard Shaw

Need a new quiet time activity or sensory bin?  Try this soothing scented homemade playdough.  Inexpensive and easy to make, this homemade recipe does not take more than ten minutes. It requires few more ingredients than flour, water and salt, yet it is as smooth and pliable as commercial doughs.  Orange-mint has been one of our recent scent combo favorites. Additionally, it is easy to achieve this vibrant orange color with yellow and a bit of red food coloring.

Note: I love that the color does not stain or bleed from the playdough on any surface or staining hands!

Although I have tried various sensory doughs in the past, the most common base recipe I use for my playdough comes from Playdough to Plato .  Malia has an amazing recipe for Apple Pie Playdough among others!


  • 3 Cups Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Oil
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Salt
  • 6 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar
For Scent:
  • Approximately 1/2 Teaspoon Sweet Orange Essential Oil
  • Roughly 7 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil

Note: The peppermint oil can easily overpower the orange, so be conservative with that, but liberally add the orange scent. 

For Color:
  • 20 Drops Yellow Food Coloring
  • 7 Drops Red Food Coloring

Note: Adjust amount of essential oils and food coloring according to personal preference.


  1. Simply add all dry ingredients to a large pot.
  2. Measure out water, and shake in essential oils into the water.
  3. Drop food coloring into the water.
  4. Pour this water mixture to the dry mixture.
  5. Add the oil.
  6. Turn the stove on medium-low and stir constantly as the dough thickens. This should take no more than a few minutes.
  7. Once the dough begins to cohere to itself and come off the sides of the pan, take the pot off the stove and let it cool.
  8. Enjoy!!

Note: One other method to infuse playdough is to use cooking extract. This results in a more powerful smell, which we also love. However, the essential oil smells less artificial (no alcohol or other additives in extract). If you want peppermint or maple scented playdough, the cooking extract works extremely well!!

Thanks for reading!

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