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This DIY Soothing Bath Playdough is a fun and sensory-rich activity that can turn bath time into a fun and enjoyable experience for kids.
I have yet to meet a child who doesn’t love playing with any type of squishy, pliable material that they can shape into anything they dream about.
I’ve watched my son spend hours creating whole scenes with playdough one day and the next day use the same playdoh to create something different. There’s something fascinating about watching it in action.
As for bath time, it’s just an invitation to splash about and have even more fun.
A bath playdough is a perfect combo that will take your child’s bath time to a whole new level of excitement and fun. Not only will keep it keep them entertained but also encourage the development of their motor skills and creativity
This soothing bath playdough recipe is easy to make and uses all natural ingredients. It feels just like Play-Doh but the difference is it’s made with ingredients that can be used in the bath.
Children will love playing with this unique bath playdough, and you can rest assured that it’s safe and non-toxic.
Bath Playdough Benefits
This bath playdough combines fun with some interesting benefits.
It promotes creativity as it allows your child to explore endless possibilities with every bath by simply molding and sculpting the playdough.
The squishing and squeezing actions help develop fine motor skills, dexterity and hand-eye coordination
The oatmeal-infused water soothes your child’s skin, leaving them feeling pampered and relaxed.
The calming aroma of lavender will help your child unwind and calm down, preparing them for a peaceful night’s sleep.
The ingredients in this bath playdough set the stage for a serene and tranquil bath time experience.
With these fantastic bath playdough benefits, bath time will become the highlight of your child’s day, offering endless fun and a host of developmental advantages.
Bath Playdough Ingredients
– ½ cup Oatmeal
– ½ cup Cornstarch
– 1 cup Baking Soda
– 1 cup water
– ¼ cup Kid’s Bath Soap (This one from Honest Company is the best)
– 8 drops Lavender essential oil
– 1 teaspoon carrier oil (Grapeseed and Coconut are best carrier oils for children’s skin)
– 1 teaspoon purple mica powder (or use your child’s favorite color)
– Silicone molds or cookie cutters (optional)
This bath playdough recipe with lavender essential oil is perfect for use as a bedtime routine.
Instructions For Making Soothing Bath Playdough
1. Pour the water into the oatmeal. Let the oatmeal soak for 15 minutes, then strain.
2. Add the mica powder to the baking soda. Mix until it is the color you desire. You can add less or more mica powder, depending on how strong you want the color to be.
Optional: If you want to create different colors, divide the playdough into smaller portions and add a little mica powder in different colors to each portion. Knead each portion separately until the color is evenly distributed.
3. Mix the baking soda, oatmeal water, corn starch, and kid’s bath soap together. Mix thoroughly.
4. Microwave for 30-second intervals, for a total of two minutes. Stir in between. If the mixture is still sticky after 2 minutes, continue until it is not sticky. Let sit for about 10 minutes or until it cools down.
5. Mix the essential oil and carrier oil in a small glass bowl and stir gently so they are fully combined. It’s important to blend the carrier oil and essential oil well before adding to the oatmeal water to avoid direct contact with the essential oil.
6. Add the lavender essential oil and carrier oil to the oatmeal water and mix to combine. Heat destroys the volatile properties of essential oils so it’s best to add the essential oil when the mixture has cooled down.
7. Knead the dough gently until it becomes soft. It won’t be as soft as normal Play-doh, but it shouldn’t crumble completely.
Bath Playdough Recipe Substitutions
Substitute bath soap with bubble bath if you want to make it more bubbly. More bubbles = more fun!
Don’t have oatmeal at home? Or don’t want to use it? Oatmeal does help to make the bath more soothing for your little one’s skin but it’s optional. Not using oatmeal will not affect the other properties.
Adding lavender essential oil is also optional but it does have its benefits. Inhaling the lavender aroma while squishing the play-doh will help calm your kid down, making it easier for them to wind down and fall asleep.
If you do add essential oil, make sure to use only those that are formulated for kids. When my son was younger, I only used essential oils from Plant Therapy’s KidSafe line.
You can add food coloring instead of mica powder. Both are equally safe. I just like the more vibrant colors that you get with mica powder.
How To Use Your Homemade Soothing Bath Playdough
Give it to your child to play with during bath time!
Encourage your child to squish and mold the playdough while it dissolves in the water. Adding silicone molds and cookie cutters for them for more fun and exploration.
As the playdough gets wet, it will dissolve slowly, releasing the oatmeal’s soothing properties.
The sensory play with the lavender essential oil will create for a relaxing bath before bedtime.
Once bath time is over, drain the water as usual. Any remnants of the playdough that haven’t dissolved can be easily rinsed away.
Benefits Of Each Ingredient In The Soothing Bath Playdough Recipe
Oatmeal – Oatmeal is known for its soothing properties. Oats contain natural emollients that help moisturize and nourish the skin, leaving it feeling soft and hydrated. They help to soothe dry and irritated skin, making this bath playdough suitable for sensitive skin types.
Cornstarch – This fine, powdery substance gives the playdough its smooth and soft texture, making it easy for children to mold and shape. Cornstarch is non-toxic and safe for children to handle during play.
Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) – Baking soda has natural softening properties that can help soothe and soften the skin during bath play. It also helps maintain the skin’s natural pH level, which contributes to healthier skin.
Kids Bath Soap – This is what cleans your child’s skin. My two top recommendations are Dr. Bronner’s Baby Unscented Pure Liquid Castile Soap and the 2 in 1 Cleansing Shampoo + Baby Wash from Honest Company. If you have a favorite baby wash or soap, you can use that too. If you choose a scented variety, skip the essential oil or the play dough will be too scented.
KidSafe Essential Oil – Certain essential oils, such as lavender or chamomile, can promote relaxation and a sense of calm, making bath time a soothing and stress-relieving experience for children. Essential oils also provide a pleasant, mild fragrance to the playdough without causing skin irritation.
Carrier Oil – Carrier oil helps offers multiple benefits. It helps to dilute the essential oil and prevents direct contact with the skin. It makes the playdough softer and more malleable so it’s easier for little ones to shape. Carrier oil also creates a thin barrier on the skin, helping to lock in moisture and protect the skin’s natural oils. I recommend using dry oils such as fractionated coconut oil, grapeseed oil, or sweet almond oil. These soak into the skin faster.
Warm Water – Warm water is used to mix the liquid ingredients with the dry ingredients, creating the playdough of desired consistency and playability.
Skin-Safe Food Coloring or Mica Powder (Optional) – Adding color to the playdough enhances its visual appeal, making bath time more enjoyable and fun for children. It’s easy to make 2 or 3 different colors by simply dividing the dough into portions and then adding different colors to each portion. I prefer mica powder over food coloring for two reasons – it doesn’t stain my fingers or the tub and it has a wider range of more vibrant colors.
By combining these ingredients, the DIY Soothing Bath Playdough with Oatmeal not only becomes a fun and creative sensory activity but also offers potential skin-soothing and moisturizing benefits during bath time.
The gentle and non-toxic nature of the playdough ensures a safe and enjoyable experience for children, while the addition of oat flour and optional essential oils adds an extra touch of soothing comfort to their bath routine.
Important Safety Notes
This is a one-time-use bath playdough. Do not make large batches to use for later and do not save the play-doh when your kids are finished as it will mold.
Supervise children at all times during bath play with the playdough to ensure they don’t put it in their mouths.
Perform a patch test to check for skin allergies before using the playdough, especially if you’ve added essential oils.
If any skin irritation occurs during or after bath play, discontinue use immediately.
Is this playdough safe for children of all ages?
Yes, this homemade soothing bath playdough with oatmeal is safe for children of all ages. The ingredients used are non-toxic and gentle on the skin. However, always supervise younger children during bath play and ensure they don’t put the playdough in their mouths as it can cause a stomach upset.
Can I use regular flour instead of oatmeal?
While oat flour has additional skin-soothing benefits, you can use regular flour if oatmeal is unavailable. Keep in mind that regular flour may not have the same soothing effect on the skin.
Are essential oils necessary for this playdough?
No, essential oils are optional in this playdough recipe. If you prefer a fragrance-free option, you can omit essential oils altogether. However, if you decide to use them, ensure they are kid-safe and properly diluted with carrier oil before incorporating them into the play dough.
Can I use food coloring alternatives to color the playdough?
Yes, if you prefer to avoid using food coloring, there are natural alternatives such as fruit or vegetable juices. However, keep in mind that these alternatives may not produce as vibrant colors as synthetic food coloring.
Will the playdough leave stains in the bathtub?
No, this playdough is designed to dissolve easily in water, and it should not leave stains in the bathtub. After bath play, any remnants of the playdough that haven’t dissolved can be easily rinsed away.
Can adults use this playdough too?
Sure thing! While this playdough is primarily designed for children, adults can also enjoy the calming and sensory experience during bath time.
Can I store the playdough between uses?
This playdough cannot be stored. I recommend making a small batch just before your child’s bath time. It’s easy to make and won’t take more than a few minutes. You can ask an older child to help in the preparation too.
Can I reuse the bath playdough?
No, it’s meant to be for one-time use only.
My child has sensitive skin. Is this playdough suitable for them?
Yes, this playdough is especially suitable for children with sensitive skin. The oat flour and carrier oil provide gentle moisturizing properties that are beneficial for sensitive skin types. Make sure to choose a light carrier oil such as grapeseed or coconut oil and perform a patch test before use if you’ve added essential oils, to check for any skin allergies.
Can I add other ingredients to the playdough for extra sensory play?
Absolutely! You can get creative and add other safe and non-toxic sensory elements such as dried flower petals, glitter, or small toys (like small water-safe rubber duckies) to enhance the sensory experience during bath play.
Looking for more easy DIY recipes with essential oils? You’ll love these!
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Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your physician before using essential oils. See Full Disclaimer here.