How to Make Kool-Aid Playdough: Recipe for Kids

Updated on July 14, 2016

Homemade Kool-Aid Playdough Recipe Worth Saving & Sharing

My homemade cookbook binder contains some of my absolute favorite go-to recipes - chock full of recipes torn out of magazines, handwritten by family and friends, or printed from websites gathered over the years. One of my favorite recipes, however, isn't even for food; it's for Homemade Kool-Aid Playdough. Parents with young kids will certainly enjoy making a budget-friendly version of the classic Play-Doh® modeling compound.

Warm and gooey homemade kool-aid playdough pizza pie
Warm and gooey homemade kool-aid playdough pizza pie | Source

Simple & Fun Kool-Aid Playdough Recipe!

2.7 stars from 20 ratings of Kool-Aid Playdough


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 package .14 oz. unsweetened Kool-Aid mix
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons oil, canola oil or vegetable oil work well


  1. Add the four dry ingredients (flour, salt, cream of tartar and Kool-Aid mix) to a saucepan; stir. (Note: Stove should be off at this point.)
  2. Add lukewarm water and oil (canola or vegetable) to the saucepan of dry ingredients.
  3. Turn the stove on to medium or medium-low heat and place the saucepan on the stove. Be careful to keep the heat at an appropriate temperature so the mixture does not burn.
  4. Continuously stir all the ingredients together. Do not worry about small lumps or any uneven coloring.
  5. The playdough is done when it turns into a ball after about 1-2 minutes of stirring. When a solid "ball" is formed, turn the playdough onto a cutting board or other work surface.
  6. Let the playdough cool for a couple minutes and then knead unil the Kool-Aid playdough is smooth and evenly colored. This only takes a minute, more or less.
  7. Begin playing! Store in a sealed plastic bag when done.

Learning How to Make Kool-Aid Playdough is Easy

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It only takes 1-2 minutes of stirring for the playdough to form.You can make lots of colors and scents by using different Kool-Aid flavors.Kneading the playdough is the final step before playing.
It only takes 1-2 minutes of stirring for the playdough to form.
It only takes 1-2 minutes of stirring for the playdough to form. | Source
You can make lots of colors and scents by using different Kool-Aid flavors.
You can make lots of colors and scents by using different Kool-Aid flavors. | Source
Kneading the playdough is the final step before playing.
Kneading the playdough is the final step before playing. | Source
This playdough was made with orange and strawberry Kool-Aid.
This playdough was made with orange and strawberry Kool-Aid. | Source

I absolutely loved playing with Play-Doh when I was a kid!

Did you play with Play-Doh when you were young?

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The Start of Play-Doh

Play-Doh ® modeling compound, packaged in its recognizable yellow container, hit the toy scene in 1956. It was only sold in one store in Washington D.C. and was only available in a single color (off-white) that first year. A year later the three primary colors of red, yellow and blue were added to the line-up.

In 1964, eight years after Play-Doh made its U.S. debut, it landed in the toy aisle of international stores, with cans of it being sold in England, Italy and France. Incredibly, by 1977 Play-Doh produced 500 million cans of this fun modeling compound.

The only drawback to Play-Doh was that it tended to dry out too easily while being stored. With a change in containers in 1986, from cardboard to plastic, this problem was all but eliminated.


Benefits of Making Homemade Playdough

While Play-Doh ® is readily available in many stores, homemade playdough is easier on the family budget and really, just a whole lot of fun to make! As an added bonus, Kool-Aid playdough does not tend to flake into little pieces while playing, making clean-up a snap.

Additional benefits of parents and kids making homemade playdough together include:

  • Learn to follow instructions
  • Learn to cooperate - By taking turns pouring, stirring and kneading
  • Learn math skills like measuring and fractions - For example, before getting started with the recipe, have your child fill the 1/4 measuring cup with water and transfer it to the 1 cup four times. This helps build an understanding of fractions.
  • Build relationships -Parents and children both benefit from spending quality active time together.

Benefits of Playing with Scented Playdough

Playing with scented playdough is very sensory, involving the senses of touch, sight and smell. No matter the toy, game or activity, playing develops many skills.

Benefits of playing with scented playdough include:

  • Helps children learn colors
  • Involves multiple senses (touch, smell, eyes)
  • Builds fine motor skills by using fingers and hands
  • Builds some large motor skills by rolling dough with a rolling pin
  • Engages the imagination
  • Fosters creativity
  • Develops sharing and communication skills when playing with other children

The possibilities with playdough are limitless.

Imaginations soar when a child is given playdough. I vividly recall my young son rolling playdough into roads and hills and driving toy trucks on his playdough city. My daughter often made tiny pretend food and animals. The creations are as numerous and intriguing as your children's imaginations and watching it in action is simply priceless.

Questions & Answers


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      • idigwebsites profile image


        5 years ago from United States

        I miss those simple childhood years. I had a Play-dough and other clay toys though some of them smelled funky, hehehehe. Thanks for sharing! I might want to surprise my nieces with something a bit different. :)

      • ktrapp profile imageAUTHOR

        Kristin Trapp 

        5 years ago from Illinois

        Vespa - I'm so glad to know you love homemade playdough too and that this low cost recipe will make its way into the hands of some moms in Peru thanks to you. Learning and play doesn't have to be expensive. I certainly hope the children enjoy it as much as mine did years ago.

      • vespawoolf profile image


        5 years ago from Peru, South America

        I loved homemade playdough when I was a kid. I've never seen this recipe using Koolaid as a colorant--what a clever idea! I remember being tempted to eat it when I was little, until I tasted the salt. I'm sure the Koolaid would make it even more tempting. : ) This is very useful and I plan to share it with some mothers here in Peru, as even a person with a low income could afford to make this for their children. Thanks!

      • ktrapp profile imageAUTHOR

        Kristin Trapp 

        6 years ago from Illinois

        Thanks AliciaC. I love the colors too; plus the texture is really smooth. Playing with this play dough definitely brings out the creativity in kids.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

        Making and using this playdough looks like a lot of fun, ktrapp! The colors are so bright and cheerful, and playing with the dough is a great opportunity for children to be creative. Thank you for sharing the recipe and for showing how to make the dough in the video.

      • ktrapp profile imageAUTHOR

        Kristin Trapp 

        6 years ago from Illinois

        Thanks Tracy. I bet you're son would love to help you make it too, especially kneading the warm dough. It's so quick to do and the Kool-Aid makes awesome playdough colors and scents.

      • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

        Tracy Lynn Conway 

        6 years ago from Virginia, USA

        I have never heard of the cool-aid version of homemade play dough, my son would love this additional sensory aspect. Great video and hub! I am voting up, useful and awesome!


      • ktrapp profile imageAUTHOR

        Kristin Trapp 

        6 years ago from Illinois

        Keeley Shea - Your 5 year old is going to love playing with this homemade playdough and helping you make it. It only takes a few minutes to make start to finish. And you can make some awesome colors depending on the flavor of Kool-Aid you use. When my son was the age of your son, he used to make hills and piles of playdough and drive his little toy trucks and tractors through it as if it were a construction site.

      • Keeley Shea profile image

        Keeley Shea 

        6 years ago from Norwich, CT

        Awesome, awesome hub! Very well written and I can't wait to do this recipe for playdoh with my 5 year old. Thanks so much for writing it!

      • ktrapp profile imageAUTHOR

        Kristin Trapp 

        6 years ago from Illinois

        Thanks for letting me know that amy11692. Homemade playdough really is fun, both making it and playing with it.

      • amy11692 profile image


        6 years ago

        I did this as a kid with my mom, it was so much fun!

      • ktrapp profile imageAUTHOR

        Kristin Trapp 

        6 years ago from Illinois

        Thanks Simone - I'm glad I could introduce you to something new. I love it ... "color and scent agent" ... sounds so official for a drink mix with a smiley face logo.

      • Simone Smith profile image

        Simone Haruko Smith 

        6 years ago from San Francisco

        I had never heard of Kool Aid being used as a color and scent agent in play dough before. What a great idea! Your video, tips, and photos are fabulous. Thanks for the great guide!

      • ktrapp profile imageAUTHOR

        Kristin Trapp 

        6 years ago from Illinois

        DanaTeresa - Your little cousin will definitely love this playdough. It's got a great consistency, color and scent and the amount of fun really is only limited by imagination - which is never in short supply when it comes to kids!

      • ktrapp profile imageAUTHOR

        Kristin Trapp 

        6 years ago from Illinois

        Thanks moonlake. The kool-aid is what gives the homemade playdough its color and scent. I've seen recipes that use food coloring instead but I think this is better because the color doesn't come off on your hands.

      • DanaTeresa profile image

        Dana Strang 

        6 years ago from Ohio

        This is great. I have never heard pf kool-aid playdough! It looks like so much fun. I will have to try thins next time my cousins visit. My little cousin gina will have a blast!

      • moonlake profile image


        6 years ago from America

        Never heard of this recipe with the kool-aid. I never had playdough as a kid but I sure played with it with my own kids. Voted Up and shared.

      • ktrapp profile imageAUTHOR

        Kristin Trapp 

        6 years ago from Illinois

        Thanks howardyoung. I'm glad you find the bright colors appealing.

      • ktrapp profile imageAUTHOR

        Kristin Trapp 

        6 years ago from Illinois

        Thanks Gloshei. I'm glad you noticed how bright the kool-aid makes the colors. It has a really nice feel to it too. Thanks for sending this on to your family.

      • ktrapp profile imageAUTHOR

        Kristin Trapp 

        6 years ago from Illinois

        Thanks MsDora. I know my kids always loved playing with kool-aid playdough, so I hope others do too.

      • howardyoung profile image

        Howard Young 

        6 years ago from California

        Very nice and colorful information!

      • Gloshei profile image


        6 years ago from France

        This looks a great recipe for kids, I must send the link to my family as I am sure they will love to make it. Looks almost good enough to eat and the colour is so bright what fun.

        Tahnks for sharing.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        6 years ago from The Caribbean

        Voting up and useful. This hub will benefit many and for a long time. Thanks for sharing!

      • ktrapp profile imageAUTHOR

        Kristin Trapp 

        6 years ago from Illinois

        Thanks Susan. I hope your sister in law and her kids enjoy this playdough recipe as much as I did with my kids years ago.

      • Just Ask Susan profile image

        Susan Zutautas 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Great Playdough recipe. I'll share this with my sister in law as she has little one's.


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