For day 6 of 30 days we made homemade nature playdough.
First we went around the garden gathering natural things that had a vibrant colour or an interesting smell. We were careful not to over pick anything and left plenty of flowers for the bees and butterflies to enjoy.
We chose rosemary to make scented green play dough, rose petals for pink, chive flowers for purple, ox eye daiseys and dandelions for yellow and lavender leaves and flowers for blue.
Once we had our materials we measured out plain flour and salt into a big bowl then added lemon juice and mixed it all up together.
You need 2 cups of flour, 1/4 cup of salt and two tablespoons of lemon juice for a regular batch of play dough.
However we wanted to make a really big batch (I’ve freezing some to take to baby sensory next week) so we tripled the original recipie.
We split the mix of flour and salt into 5 bowls and added a different natural ingredients to each bowl. We tried to tear and mash half up of each ingredient into as small as pieces as possible to help release some of the natural dye. (You can also blitz all of it in a food processor if you want smoother non textured playdough).
Once we had added our ingrediants to each bowl we carefully some added a mix of hot water with more lemon juice and left everything to stew and soak for 30 mins.
After 30 mins the natural dyes in the flowers and plants had started seeping out into the water. We squeezed and mashed the mixture with a spoon to get as much dye out as we could.
The only ingrediant that didn’t work with this method was the lavender mix, it just went a greeny grey colour. So we decided to add a cheeky drop of food colouring to make it more blue.
As the mixtures were all very wet we added more flour to each of them until they became firm enough to knead into balls of playdough.
We were really pleased with the results they looked really pretty, and they smelt lovely with a range of scents. The chunkier bits of leaves and petals also gave them extra texture and pops of colour.
The boys enjoyed playing with them in the garden, I gave them some flower pots, plant markers and extra leaves and sticks to add to the dough.
Once you have finished the dough can be kept for over a week in an airtight container or you can freeze some of the batch to use at a later date.
If you like this you might like to try making your own natural dyes.