Making playdough at home is always a hit with the little ones. This Kool aid playdough recipe adds a playful twist to any traditional recipe. The kool aid makes the playdough smell so good and the colors are perfection.
Scented playdough can be an added sensory benefit for preschoolers, so why not try this microwave playdough recipe using kool aid for color and fragrance?
Even if you have never made homemade playdough, this is a super easy recipe to begin with. It’s cooked in the microwave, making it quick and effortless. The added kool aid not only makes the dough smell oh-so amazing, it also adds color, so you don’t even need to add food coloring, either.
But the texture of this dough is perfection. It is soft and smooth with just the right amount of stretch. My kids loved how easily it rolled and cut with cookie cutters.
This recipe is a sample of what you will find my Playdough Cookbook. The book has 45 completely unique recipes, from my grandma’s old fashioned playdough recipe to playdough made with bread that dries like porcelain.
45 Playdough Recipes$10.00
Why Make No Cook Kool Aid Playdough
Technically, this is considered a no-cook playdough recipe. You don’t need to cook it on the stovetop like my classic cooked playdough recipe.
Rather, you dump everything into a bowl and microwave it. The heat from the microwave activates the gluten in the flour to make a dough the same way cooking it on the stovetop does. It just takes a matter of minutes. So quick and easy!
Scented Playdough Helps Emotional Regulation
This playdough is scented by kool aid, which can have a powerful impact on preschoolers. The sense of smell helps preschoolers make sense of their developing world, and reportedly has the great impact on emotional regulation.
The sense of smell triggers memories more strongly than any other sense. It is most closely linked to childhood memories. That’s why Early Childhood Impact recommends scented playdough a their #1 sense of smell activity for preschoolers.
Ingredients for Kool Aid Playdough Recipe
All you need for this recipe are the same basic ingredients as any traditional playdough recipe. Just add kool aid.
- cream of tartar
- cooking oil
- kool aid packet
Can You Make Kool Aid Playdough Without Cream of Tartar?
Of course you can make playdough without cream of tartar.
Cream of tartar is an acidic chemical compound that stabilized the playdough, giving it the right texture and helping it last longer. If you don’t have any on hand, you can use any of these cream of tartar substitutes in this playdough recipe:
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
What is a Substitute for Kool Aid in Playdough?
Sometimes my kids get to our kool aid packets before I can make playdough with them. If that happens at your house too, and you find yourself without kool aid, and powdered drink mix will do.
The big different you will find is that kool aid is a concentrated powder designed to be mixed into a lot of water. There is about 1 1/3 teaspoons of kool aid per packet. How strongly the drink mixes smell varies on how concentrated the powder is. The same is true for how vibrant the color will be.
How Much Kool Aid is Needed?
The answer to this all depends on how strong you want the kool aid fragrance and how vibrant you want to colors. The more packets you add the deeper the color.
How to Make Kool Aid Playdough in the Microwave
Mix together all the ingredient in a medium glass, microwave safe bowl. It’s going to start as a gloopy mess, but that’s just how it should be.
Microwave the mixture for one minute. Remove and give it a good stir. Already it should be a little thicker than it started.
Return to the microwave for another thirty seconds. Remove and stir again.
Repeat the process until the sloppy mix turns into a thick ball of dough. You’ll know it’s done because it will hold together and look like Play-Doh. Then dump it out onto a piece of parchment paper and allow it to cool completely.
To ensure a smooth and well-mixed playdough, it is crucial to knead the dough thoroughly after it has cooled completely. This step ensures that all ingredients are properly combined and eliminates any lumps.
I opted to use two watermelon kool aid packets for my playdough, which resulted in vibrant colors without the need for additional food coloring. If you desire richer or more intense colors, you can add food coloring while kneading the dough.
In just a short amount of time, I effortlessly whipped up a batch of easy homemade playdough in the microwave!
This microwave playdough recipe is included in my Playdough Cookbook, along with my Super Stretchy Playdough Recipe and 45 other unique recipes.
45 Playdough Recipes$10.00
Does Homemade Playdough Go Bad?
Short answer – yes, homemade playdough does go bad. Playdough made at home, even if thoughtfully cared for, will eventually expire because it doesn’t have any preservatives. Some think that the salt acts as a preservative, and it does to a certain extent, but since our hands naturally carry bacteria, it won’t last forever.
How Long Does Playdough Last?
When stored properly, most playdough recipes, both cooked and no-cook recipes, can last up to three months. Extend the longevity of homemade playdough by following these simple yet effective tips:
- Wash hands and tools before use.
- Wrap in plastic wrap when not in use.
- Then store in an air tight container.
Extend the playdough life even further by keeping it in the refrigerator!
How Long Does Homemade Playdough Last in the Fridge?
If stored using the tips above, keeping the playdough in the fridge can extend the life of the playdough by another 2-3 months. Just don’t let it get lost among all the leftovers!
Does Homemade Playdough Mold?
Yes, playdough can mold. Look out for white, green, or blue fuzzy patches on your playdough – a sure sign of mold. Mold on playdough will always appear fuzzy, so if you spot it, it’s time to say goodbye.
Mold is another reason why I like to store my playdough in plastic wrap inside an air tight container. It not only help prevent mold, but if mold does grow, the plastic wrap helps prevent the spread of mold.
If you even end up with playdough that had molded, the entire ball of dough must be thrown out and the container it was in needs to be thoroughly disinfected.
For other burning questions about homemade playdough, check out this post that answers every question imaginable about making playdough at home.
Scented Playdough Recipes
While kool aid is a fun way to add scent to your playdough, there are loads of other ways to add fragrance. Try some of these playdough recipes.
- Orange Creamsicle Playdough
- Herb Scented Playdough
- Jello Playdough
- Essential Oil Playdough
- Chocolate playdough
- Spiced Playdough
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup salt
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar (or lemon juice)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 cup water
- kool aid packets
- food coloring (optional)
- medium size, glass, microwave safe bowl
- measuring cups and spoons
- mixing spoon
- parchment paper
- Measure the flour, salt, oil, and cream of tartar into a microwave safe bowl and whisk together.
- Add the water, and mix.
- Heat in the microwave for one minute.
- Remove and stir.
- Return to the microwave for another 30 seconds, then remove and stir again.
- Repeat step 5 until mixture has formed into a thick ball of dough.
- Allow the playdough to cool for about ten minutes on parchment paper.
- Add desired food coloring and knead.
- DO NOT ATTEMPT THE FOLLOWING until the playdough is completely cooled.
- If the playdough is too sticky, knead in more flour, one tablespoon at a time, until desired texture is achieved.
- If the playdough is too crumbly, knead in more water, one teaspoon at a time.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.