Whenever the scent of Bergamot permeates the air I always think of warm sunshine on a spring day. It has a citrus note yes, but it’s got a lot more depth to it than just an sweet lemony almost floral scent. It has warmth and spice.

I imagine if you could smell happiness, that would be Bergamot.

Bergamot oil comes from the citrus fruit of a bergamot tree found mainly in Italy. It produces fruits that ripen from green to yellow but the fruit is inedible because it is intensely sour. The oil is extracted from the peel of the nearly ripe fruit.

Bergamot has amazing healing properties especially for children with anxiety issues and other sensory disorders. Its natures antidepressant so its fantastic for times of intense sadness, anger and frustration. It’s a mood uplifter, helps with tiredness and generally improves physical and mental strength.


As Neiva is flexischooled, I collect her just after lunch and we have some quiet time at home for an hour. After that, we generally start working on fun activities that will help her social skills. To get her motivated for an afternoon of one to one, I wanted to find an activity that would incorporate the healing and calming power of essential oils. We had so much success with the lavender play dough I wanted to keep the ball rolling with sensory play, so we made a bergamot beach.

I scoured Pinterest for some homemade sand play ideas and found a recipe here. The recipe couldn’t be simpler.

To Make:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 cups wholewheat flour (we used brown rice flour)
  • 1/2 cup of baby oil
  • A few drops of bergamot oil

If you only have plain flour that’s fine but the wholewheat gives the mix a ‘sand-like’ texture and colour.

Mix together with a fork until the mixture takes on the consistency of slightly wet sand. It should still be crumbly (not sticky) but hold together when squeezed in your hand.

My mum brings Neiva shells back every year from her holidays so we have quite a collection now (Neiva loves shells) and we added these to the sand. 

Neiva absolutely loved this activity and a sand based theme has lots of playing potential. The shells make a great counting activity too.

For variation in play, instead of shells you could maybe add toy trucks and diggers and have a construction site theme. 

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.