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Kool-Aid Play Dough

We love homemade play dough at our house and generally have several colors available in the art cupboard at any given time, but I’m always frustrated when it comes to making the colors vibrant and bright without having to add a ton of food coloring. Then I discovered the wonders of Kool-Aid. It should come as no surprise (remember when people dyed their hair with Kool-Aid?) that this ubiquitous summer drink would make an excellent colorant, and, as a bonus, it gives the dough a nice scent as well. Perfect for some escape the sun inside playtime this summer!

Things you’ll need:
1 cup flour + 1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 cup boiling water
2 packages of Kool-Aid

Things to do:
1. In a large bowl, mix 1 cup flour, Kool-Aid, salt and cream of tartar.
2. Pour in the boiling water and oil and mix until well combined.
3. Turn our onto a floured board and work in enough of the remaining flour to give you a smooth, elastic dough.

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  1. In my years as an Early Childhood Educator I always made Kool-aid playdough. The children loved the scents and the colours!A great medium for children!

  2. You can also use borax instead of the cream of tartar, and baby oil instead of the vegetable oil, BUT if you do, dont let the kids eat any.

  3. does it have to have the cream of tarter? just curious cus i dont have any and wondering if i need to go to store just for that )

    1. Someone suggested that you can use borax instead of the cream of tartar but I have seen some recipes that dont call for either. I have not tried this out personally, but you could give that a try and how it turns out. If you decide to skip that ingredient, try 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 3 tbsp oil and 1 package of kool aid.

  4. I used to make this for my kids all the time ) its a great recipe but just an added note… the dough mixture stays really hot for a long time so watch out when your kneading it )

  5. I love these craft blogs, but Im in the UK and sometimes struggle with quantities. I suppose C – cup, but dont know how much that is, and what is T?

    1. Sorry for the confusion! I have gone ahead and wrote out what the quantities mean for the instructions for future readers. But you are correct ‘C’ does mean ‘cup’ which would be anything between 100 and 150 grams, depending on how dense you pack it. The the ‘T’ means tablespoons. So you would use about 3.65 grams of cream of tartar and 15 mL vegetable oil I believe. I hope I didnt butcher your measurements too badly! lol

  6. Google metric conversion and you will find several sites with conversion calculators. Im not at my home computer or I would give the URL for my favorite, but its name is something like International Conversion Calculator or something similar.

    1. As far as the staining, I personally have not had any problems with the already kneaded ready-to-play with dough staining little hands. The darker colors such as dark blues, or purples may be opt to stain quicker than reds, yellows, or oranges though. I know that while you make the dough, if your hands have direct contact with the kool-aid powder it will most likely stain your hands. But I would have the kiddos wear old clothing, or a smock just in case something could happen.

  7. Is there any staining because of the kool-aid? I teach 3-5 yrs @ church would like to make this for them. Im just thinking of their clothes if I need to bring smocks? Thanks!

    1. Oh they will definitely love this! I know that while you make the play dough it may stain your hands if your skin has had direct contact with the powder. As far as the little hands go when the dough is finished being kneaded I haven’t had any problems personally. But I don’t want to promise anything, so I would definitely have them dress in old clothes, or wear a smock like you suggested just in case. I hope this helps!

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