Having a toddler is so much fun for many reasons, one of which is the ability to color coloring books and play with play dough guilt-free! (People tend to look at you funny when you’re doing either of those activities with no kids around. Why is that?!) So now I’m into the guilt-free play dough playing days.
It was sometime before Christmas that I first went to buy
myself Elsie some play dough. I went to Wal-Mart, which I assumed was like the play dough capital of the world. I don’t know if everyone in Southern Wisconsin had gone to that particular store to buy play dough stocking suffers or what, but my only color options were brown and light brown. Seriously?! (And this was like November… not Christmas Eve.) I bought the light brown because I knew E would enjoy squishing it regardless of the color. But brown?! That’s no fun. Later I bought her a little 4 pack of what I thought was play dough, but the stuff was so firm she could hardly do anything with it.
No, what we needed was a big ol’ hunk of bright, squishy dough. There were balls and snakes to roll, and cookie cutters and plastic knives to cut with, and pretend food and animals to mold. We needed some good stuff.
I looked at several recipes but I really wanted one that had all edible ingredients. Not that I would ever call it “edible” for fear of encouraging a child to eat it, but at least “non-toxic” with pantry items.. ingredients that won’t make you freak out if it’s tasted, licked, or otherwise ingested. Thus, this Kool-Aid Play Dough recipe. It contains all pantry items (you may or may not keep cream of tartar on hand. I happened to have it from icing I had made), except for Kool-Aid which I honestly think is great for play dough but should not be otherwise ingested. Did I just say that?! Sorry, Kool-Aid lovers, but it mainly consists of preservatives and artificial flavors and colors. Great for crafts. Mixed with sugar and served to children, not so much.
Ahem. On to the ingredients.
- Cream of Tartar
Combine all of your dry ingredients in a medium saucepan. Add the water and oil, and begin stirring over medium heat. Within 5 minutes, the mixture will form a ball in the center of your pan! Remove it to a plate and allow it to cool. Store the play dough in an airtight container. (I found the round plastic containers pictured below at the dollar store 2/$10.) One batch of dough fits perfect in 1 container, and the screw on lids are much easier to close and keep closed than a snap-on lid would be. I made two colors for
us Elsie to play with, and a couple extra batches to give to friends (a fun, frugal, and easy gift – just combine with some fun cookie cutters!).Happy playing!
- 1 cup Flour
- 1/2 cup Salt
- 1 pkg Kool-Aid
- 2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
- 1 cup Water
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- Combine the 4 dry ingredients in a medium saucepan.
- Stir in water and oil.
- Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture forms a ball.
- Transfer hot play dough to a plate and allow to cool.
Store in an airtight container. If play dough dries out, knead in a little water. If dough becomes too soft, you can heat it again in a saucepan until it firms up.