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Orange-scented play dough

What you need

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 200ml water
  • 50ml orange essence
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp of orange food colouring (or yellow and red)


Fine motor skills are developed: the acts of squishing, rolling, flattening, etc. help your children develop muscles used in their hands. This is useful for fine motor movements they’ll be doing later on, such as holding a pencil or using scissors.

The experience

Using orange essence adds to the sensory experience of playing with play dough.  It also creates an association with colour and smell. The play dough is made using a basic play dough recipe with added orange essence and orange coloured food dye to imitate that of real oranges. You can also mix leaves with the playdough to add an extra sensory element.

While making the play dough, encourage your child to touch and feel while learning about different ingredients and colours.


How to make orange-scented playdough:


  1. Pour all of the dry ingredients, flour, salt and cream of tartar together in a saucepan.
  2. Add oil, food colouring, orange essence and water to dry ingredients.
  3. Use a whisk before heating – this helps remove lumps and blends the ingredients well.
  4. Cook over medium heat constantly stirring until it becomes a thick blob.
  5. Then turn out onto a clean surface and knead into a smooth blob.
  6. Allow the play dough to cool before playing with it.
  7. Store in a plastic zip lock bag or air tight container.