If you have a kiddo with ADHD, you know they are always moving, talking, or touching everything! Emotions can run high with a sudden change, or something doesn’t go their way. Check out this easy play dough to calm the senses. This DIY recipe is quick and easy. It contains common ingredients with the addition of calming essential oils.
Movement for focus
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Fidget toys are all the rage now. They can be fun for anyone, but particularly beneficial with ADHD. This article talks about the benefit of fidgeting for adults. Kids are no different. Often busy hands can help calm the mind to focus on things like verbal instruction. Read how some schools are replacing chairs with exercise balls. Little Bit often does her school sitting on this ball.
We love having a variety of fidget options to match the circumstances. One of our favorites are these pop it bracelets, which is discrete, and easy to keep on hand. But this easy DIY play dough is another favorite when attention needs to be more fully captured.
Encourage the natural creativity
People with ADHD are often bursting with creativity. Play dough is a great outlet for the natural creativity. Little Bit loves making all sorts of creations. She’ll ”cook” all sorts of meals, and spend lots of time fashioning all of the parts to her meal. Allowing the brain to utilize the creativity can help decrease the sometimes destructive creativity that may happen elsewhere. I don’t know how many times impulsive creativity has consisted of using scissors on something it shouldn’t. But I want to provide positive outlets for her creativity, which can be their super power! These tools are a great start to that creative outlet.
Calm the anxious feelings
Emotional dysregulation is often a big part of ADHD. Stress balls of all kinds are nothing new. Exerting force into squeezing something that will not break is a great outlet for emotions. Play dough is great for this. The added essential oils are a bonus too. Read about our use of essential oils for emotions here. So far I’ve used Balance, Adaptiv, and Wild Orange, all which are targeted towards balancing emotions and focus.
Play dough ingredients
I love recipes that include ingredients I’m likely to already have in my home. It drives me crazy to get excited about making something with my kiddos, only to find out I’m missing one ingredient. I had all of the ingredients on hand for this, which is a win from the beginning. What’s included:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/3 cup salt (natural preservative to keep it fresh)
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (helps keep it from being sticky)
- food coloring (not required, but what kid doesn’t prefer fun colors)
- 20 drops of essential oils (I used a different oil for each color)
Simple steps to make the play dough
- In a saucepan, mix flour, salt and cream of tartar.
- Add the water and oil.
- Turn the heat on low and mix well. Will be lumpy at first.
- As the lumps disappear, add the food coloring if desired.
- Turn the heat up to medium low and continue to stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides and is less wet. Time will vary, but mine fully thickens at around 3 minutes.
- scrape the dough out of the pan onto wax or parchment paper for it to cool for about 20 minutes.
- knead the dough well
- Poke a few holes in the top to add the essential oils to be able to fold into dough rather than on hands.
- Store dough in an airtight container. If it starts to dry out over time you can revive it by kneading in a few drops of water. Additional essential oils can be added too.
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The content in this post is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is merely opinion based on personal research and experience.