Here is how we created some sensory Christmas scented dough. It was surprisingly easy and fun to do with the kids!
We took a basic play dough recipe and added some wintery additions to make it smell like Christmas. For the dough we mixed:
- 280g of flour
- 2 teaspoons each of ground ginger, cinnamon and mixed spice
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 70g of salt.
You can add other items, such as cream of tartar (if you want to keep it longer) or glycerine (for a shine). We opted to keep it cheap and handy and go with what was in the cupboard at the time.
First mix the flour, salt and oil. Then boil the 350ml of water before you add it to the mix. If you have any fruit tea bags to hand you could boil these in the water for an extra scent. I decided to ‘mull’ the water by boiling it in a pan with some orange, cinnamon sticks and cloves. I’m not sure if this made a huge difference to the dough, however the kids enjoyed exploring the different textures and smells of the spices. It also made the kitchen smell amazing and so Christmassy! Not quite as good as mulled wine though 😉
When the water is ready, add it to the other ingredients and then mix it in well. Once it cools you can start pressing it together into a dough. We quickly realised that the amount of spice we had added with the flour was not enough. After throwing in all the spices we could find, our reserves were completely depleted! We also added some dried cranberries for an extra festive flourish. We grated in some orange rind and squeezed the juice in too. This is where the trial and error came in, when we found it was getting too sticky we just added some more flour. I just kept in mind the texture of play dough and worked towards that.
Everything we fancied it went into it and the kids mixed it together with their hands until the smells started to transport our senses to a Christmas kitchen! It was nice how the dried berries added some extra texture too and there could be some other textures worth exploring. Once it felt like a shapeable dough we wrapped it in cling film and popped it in the fridge for the night.
Then it should be ready to play with. We added a few items to a box for them to interact with. Dried pasta, conkers, pine cones, branches, rice and some play people. To make it extra Christmassy you could add some nativity play animals or even a bit of sparkly tinsel!