Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Grand Play-Dough Experiment: Kool Aid Play-Dough

My daughter has recently discovered the wonders of play-dough. I like regular, store-bought play-dough, but there are so many fun recipes out there that I thought it would be a travesty to not try at least some of them. So, I give you my eventual series of posts (assuming I keep feeling well): the Grand Play-Dough Experiment!

I plan to make a different play-dough every couple of weeks, evaluate it a bit the first week, then eventually update the post to include how long it lasted and final impressions of that recipe. If I do not evaluate an aspect of play-dough that is important to you, please feel free to leave a comment asking for that info. I will be happy to update the post as long as the play-dough is still fresh enough to be worked with (or I happen to remember the details you desire).

This week we made Kool Aid Play-dough. I will add the recipe here because there are no guarantees that links will work forever.

Kool Aid Play-Dough

1 cup water
3 teaspoons of Cream of Tartar
1 cup of flour
1 package of Kool-Aid Mix (any flavor of unsweetened)
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
1/2 cup of salt

Mix dry ingredients in a large/medium pan. Add water and oil. Stir over medium heat until it looks like dough. Whatever the color of koolaid used should be the end result. This takes about 8 minutes. This recipe is 100% edible and can be eaten immediately.

We used a grape packet...
 Warming the water.
 Newly mixed dough.
 After kneading a bit (I ended up needing to knead it for quite a while to get it to a good, consistent texture).

Initial impressions:
-easy to make
-other flavors of kool aid would smell good, but I can't stand the grape smell
-nice, deep color
-color stays in the dough (only very slight staining on my fingers during initial kneading)
-grainy, but improves with kneading and playing
-leaves a residue on the hands and play surface (but easy to clean)
-nice and soft

After playing a while:
- I CANNOT stand the smell of the grape flavor
-still slightly grainy after playing with it several times this week
-storing well at room temperature

A note from a friend who loves kool aid play-dough: "the 'blue raspberry' and 'lemonade' (or lemonade blends) of kool-aid packets do NOT work well, way way too sticky."

After two weeks of play and storage:
-Very nice, smooth texture. All graininess is gone.
-Smell is still there.
-Color is beautiful.
-Still soft and moist. Doesn't dry out during play.

After almost a month this play-dough is still going strong (and still smells, too!).

After 6 months, this play-dough has not yet gone bad. However, it has become extremely sticky. I tried kneading it in some flour and it remained pretty sticky. I think it's time for us to say good-bye to this play-dough. I'm sure it could be saved but it probably isn't worth the effort.

Update on 7/18/12: I have made this recipe several times and it has become my favorite. Our daughter loves mixing all the dries together and then watching as it changes color when we add the water. It's definitely a great recipe!


Other posts in the Grand Play-Dough Experiment Series:
Traditional (Baking Soda) Play-Dough
Coffee Play-Dough
Gingerbread Play-Dough

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