There is a ten year difference between my oldest and my youngest child, so I have been living in the 'play dough stage' for quite a long time. Although Chayce has moved on to creating intricate oven dried creations Nash is now in full blown play dough mode. It is one of the only things that will keep him quietly seated for more than ten minutes plus he really enjoys helping to 'cook it' and play with it while I'm in the kitchen doing my own thing.

There are many many different recipe variations for homemade play dough and I have tried almost all of them but this is by far my favorite. It smells delicious, keeps forever at room temperature and makes the most beautiful pastel hues that won't bleed color on your hands. It has been my staple play dough recipe for over 10 years.

 Gather your ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour, 1 Tablespoon cream of tarter, 1/2 cup fine salt, 2 Tablespoons cooking oil, 1 packet KoolAid.

I like to use Kool Aid because it smells delicious and is a cheap alternative to food coloring that won't stain your hands. Plus my kids love picking out Kool Aid packets at the store but I we don't drink Kool Aid so it's a great way to use up all those 'fine-just-put-it-in-the-cart' packets. If you have food coloring instead of Kool Aid, this recipe works just as well either way.

In a large saucepan over medium heat stir together all the dry ingredients.

Mix together oil and water and add to dry ingredients. This is a perfect time to enlist a little person helper.

It will look like a goopy mess, but trust me, just keep constantly stirring over medium heat.

It will eventually become smooth,

Then gather in the middle in one large clump, which means it's done.

 Turn out onto counter and knead a few times.

before handing over to your little one to enjoy. It is most fun when still warm and very smooth but will keep indefinitely at room temperature.

For an easy homemade gift for any kids on your list make up a few large batches of dough and peruse the kitchen goods aisle or antique store for some unexpected dough toys. Pack up a rainbow of dough in little containers and gift it in a fun box like this one from Sugar Paper LA for Target or a small vintage suitcase or even an old lunch box.

I like these small glass canning jars from Bormiolo Rocco. Add a ribbon and a few toys and it's a super easy and cute gift.

 Kool Aid Play Dough
recipe by Tristin Rieken of ONEarmedMAMA.com 

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fine salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cream of tarter
  • 1 standard package Kool Aid 
  • 2 Tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Combine dry ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine.
  • Add water and oil and stir continuously until it clumps up in a big lump in middle of pan. 
  • Turn out on counter and knead a few times. 
  • Keep at room temperature either in plastic bag or container.

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