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If you’ve attended Nature Play SA’s events you may have come across the scrumptious variety of natural playdoughs on offer for little hands to explore and create. One of their popular varieties is lavender playdough, a calming and engaging playdough made with natural colours and fragrances to captivate the senses.

In the inaugural issue of its Wild Ones magazine, the not-for-profit organisation shares some of its favourite playdough recipes, including this gorgeous wildberry lavender variation. Whip up a batch together with your kiddos over the summer holidays!

 

What you’ll need

2 cups plain flour
1 cup salt
2 tbsp oil
4 tbsp cream of tartar
2 cups water
1 tsp lavender oil
½ – 1 cup fresh or frozen berries for dyeing

Optional extras
natural loose parts (think: twigs, flowers, seedpods, pebbles, fragrant herbs and shells)
cookie cutters, rolling pin, cutting board or placemat for play

 

Steps

Prepare your natural dye: gently bring water and berries to boil in a saucepan, then simmer for five or more minutes. Remove saucepan from the stove and strain the mixture through a colander, reserving the liquid.
Allow kids to measure and mix the flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a medium-sized saucepan
Place saucepan on medium heat and carefully add the oil and natural dye mix. Stir for 3 – 5 minutes until the mixture congeals then remove from heat.
Once the playdough has cooled, knead the lavender oil into the dough then allow children to work the mixture until ready!

 

Tips

There’s a bounty of natural hues that can be achieved with berries and other plants, spices and natural materials. Experiment with foraged summer berries (such as mulberries or blackberries) or try fresh or frozen berries to see what unique shades you can create
Amp up your family nature time by making a morning of collecting natural loose parts around your neighbourhood or local park together. Keep a collection on hand for playdough and other nature craft sessions!

Nature Play SA is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to increasing the time today’s generation of children spend playing outdoors in nature. Find out more about their Wild Ones magazine and Family Membership at natureplaysa.org.au/join-the-movement/family-membership/ Cookie cutters pictured are available from Nature Play SA at natureplaysa.org.au/shop. All images: Jason Tyndall, Nature Play SA.

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Photography by Jason Tyndall