Children really do have the best ideas and that’s why, as a childminder, I love being child-led as they’re always far more creative than me. After having a good smell of the lavender bush in the garden this afternoon G suggested “why don’t we put it in playdough to make it smell nice?” and so our lavender playdough was born.
We often add scent to playdough such as spices or essential oils so she already knew that this was a possibility but she was very pleased with herself for coming up with this idea. We located some scissors and a bowl to collect it in and she set to work carefully selecting the lavender she wanted to add.
To make the playdough we used our easy no cook playdough recipe and at the stage of adding in dry ingredients crumbled the lavender into the bowl. The smell was absoultley amazing and I don’t think the house has ever smelt so good!
Once cooled down I set out an invitation to play with some natural loose parts which is mostly things we have collected on nature walks and add to our tub when we find them. Unfortunately G wouldn’t let me photograph her as she didn’t have her Snow White dress on (finally managed to sneak it into the washing machine and she’s still sulking about it) so instead she let me take photos of her creations instead.
I was going to add some purple paint to colour the playdough but decided I actually liked it with no colour so you’re really drawn to it’s smell. This was a lovely calming activity to do after tea which is usually when G has to get her last bit of energy out and can often be found doing crazy dances in the lounge / kitchen whilst I try and clear up.
The smell was so good and inviting that I couldn’t help but have a good old squish of it as well. The first thing G has always done with playdough is stick everything in it. Then she goes back and uses her imagination to create a whole range of things. This lavender playdough was used to create pizzas and birthday cakes, seats and baths for fairies, dinosaur food and bath bombs.
G also used the loose parts to crate patterns which she is really into at the moment and noticing everywhere we go so she spent a good half an hour just coming up with as many different patterns as she could using the parts available.
Once finished we bagged it up in a ziploc bag and keep somewhere cool. Depending on how much our playdough is played with and what is added it usually lasts a good few months like this.
It’s no secret that we LOVE playdough at Clare’s Little Tots and I’ve blogged about the benefits of playdough so if you’ve not made some yet I urge you do go and do it!
If your little ones liked this lavender playdough why not try some of the below activities to further their interest:
- Add some dried lavender to a sensory bin of water and add scoops, pots etc to create a calming water play
- Make some lavender body scrub or bath bombs as a gift for someone special
- Work those fine motor skills and have a go at making these lavender wands
- Whip up some homemade lavender finger paint for some extra sensory fun with painting
- or even try baking with lavender – these vanilla lavender shortbread cookies look amazing
- and of course we have loads more playdough set ups in our playdough archives so why not check them out.
Areas of Learning
Playdough offers a wonderful way to cover many areas of learning and development as set out in the EYFS. Through playing with playdough young children are:
Communication & Language
Focussed attention, sitting still, building vocabulary, describing their experience.
Building fine motor skills, enjoying sensory experiences.
Personal, social and emotional development
Playing alongside others and playing cooperatively with an adult.
Understanding the world
Talking about the changing world around us, understand growth and decay
Expressive arts and design
Notices effects of leaving marks, describing textures, using tools for a purpose and to achieve a planned effect, constructs with a purpose in mind, selects own tools, pretends one object represents another, begging to make-believe by pretending and sensory exploration.
Counting objects, comparing sizes, talking about shapes they leave in the playdough, making patterns