Play the sniffles away

Eleanor Douglas-Meyers is a crafty mom from Uitenhage who writes about DIY, parenting, natural hair care, fashion, food and fun on her blog Just Ella Bella.



It’s school holidays, it is also the start of winter and the flu season is rearing its ugly head. There is nothing like sick, bored kids so I came up with a DIY to address both: coloured eucalyptus lentils for sensory play and help with stuffy noses.

Aidan has always had issues with his sinuses – he is almost always a little stuffy. And because I don’t want to keep plying him with drugs, I often use homeopathic remedies to help ease his symptoms a little.

The smell of eucalyptus oil is great for this, so I put a few drops on his pillow at bed time.

Last year I realised adding it to his play dough worked wonders as he could play and get better at the same time.

With this in mind, I came up with a fun “sensory play” way to ease his stuffy nose: coloured eucalyptus lentils!

I usually do this with rice but I decided to do something a little different and use the lentils – which for some unknown reason – we have loads of.

Coloured Eucalyptus Lentils


  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • food colouring
  • zip lock bags
  • eucalyptus oil


Scoop some dried lentils into your packets (I used a third of a cup in each packet)

Put some food colouring into each bag (I used 2.5ml but you can be the judge and add more for a more vibrant colour)

Rub the packet to distribute colour

Then put in a few drops of the essential oil (please do colouring first, I messed up by putting the colour in oil first and the oil kept the colour from sticking as well as I had hoped)

Rub the packet again. Lay lentils out on a piece of paper and leave to dry.

Once dry, you can give it a sniff and decide whether you need more oil or just hand it to your kid to play. If you do add more oil, don’t forget to let it dry again.

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