Seasonal Recipes: Aloe vera ice cube soothers for children – with added dinosaurs

Aloe vera ice cube soothers for children – with added dinosaurs

The inspiration for freezing aloe vera comes from James Wong’s natural home remedy book Grow Your Own Drugs. I have greatly diluted it (so it is less messy to use with kids) and added little frozen toys, to cheer children and keep their interest in continuously cooling burns, bumps and bites over a few minutes.  I’ve also switched out the relaxing lavender scent for May Cheng, which smells like fizzy lemon sherbet – because the aim here is to cheer and distract, rather than relax.  I’ve also experimented with adding flowers and leaves to the cubes, for a more natural addition, and this works well too.

*These cubes are not for eating, but for soothing burns and bumps, like a cool pack.*


Boiled, cooled water (enough to make 6 large ice cubes)

The gel from 1-2 medium aloe vera leaves or otherwise approx 60ml shop-bought pure aloe vera gel (look in the aftersun/sun burn section of a supermarket or pharmacy)

6 drops essential oil (we use May Cheng)

6 small freezable plastic toys or flower petals



Knife and cutting board (if slicing aloe vera leaves for the gel)


Large ice cube tray


Skewer or cocktail stick


Fill each ice cube compartment 1/2 full of the boiled, cooled water.

Carefully harvest the gel from the aloe vera leaves using a sharp knife (be really careful, as this gets very slippy; there are lots of online tutorials if you are unsure.).  Add the aloe vera gel to each compartment

Add one drop of essential oil to each compartment

Stir slowly with a skewer to combine and disperse the ingredients

Gently drop a toy or petal into each cube

Place in the freezer and use whenever needed

Run each of the cubes under a warm tap for a few seconds before use and they are best placed on a tray for a child to push around and build with.  We keep a towel next to the tray, for warming and cleaning hands.




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Seasonal Recipes: Homemade lavender oil pillow spray and sleep cloth for children

One of our little boys has profound autism and this sleepy spray blanket forms part of our nightly routine to help him to settle down for sleep peacefully.  I prefer to spritz the mild scent onto a cloth, as opposed to a pillow, because I am then able to warm the blanket on a radiator or in the airing cupboard first.  I can also remove it once he has fallen asleep, so that he isn’t breathing in the essential oils all night, and he then doesn’t have it during the day, so there is no risk of it becoming a habitual comfort blanket he cannot be without.

A muslin cloth can be washed and dried in minimal time, is entirely portable (for day trips, holidays or long journeys where a nap might be needed) and easily replaceable.  We usually give the warm, lavender cloth to our son around an hour before bedtime, just after he has had his evening bubble bath, and he loves it – holding it to his cheek and breathing deeply.*


6 drops lavender essential oil

4 drops frankincense oil (or replace with four more further drops of lavender oil)

2 tbsp witch hazel

7 tbsp boiled, cooled water.


Small jar with lid (or a small bowl and spoon)

Small funnel

Recycled old perfume jar or small spray bottle.

Muslin baby cloth


Place the oils and witch hazel into the jar, put the lid on and shake to disperse the oils.  Then add the water, replace the lid, and shake again to combine the ingredients before using the funnel to decant the liquid into the spray bottle.

*before using essential oils, check that it is appropriate for your own family.  For example, Lavender is not recommended during pregnancy, and is often cited as toxic for cats.

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Homemade Natural Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner

The peppermint and orange oils in this cleaner not only cancel out any vinegar scent, but also add antibacterial properties – making it perfect for wiping down kitchen surfaces.  It’s also much safer to have around the house with children than commercial kitchen bleaches.


300ml of boiled, cooled water

60ml white vinegar

10 drops peppermint oil

10 drops orange oil


Measuring jug


Spray bottle


Simply boil a kettle, measure out 300ml of the water into a measuring jug and add the other ingredients.  Stir gently to combine, then leave to cool.  Funnel the contents into a spray bottle and use to clean kitchen surfaces with a washable cloth.

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