Battle of the Play-Doughs!

Battle of the playdough

Who new there were so many fun, easy, and might I say fragrant, recipes for play-dough!

My students and I experimented with 5 different recipes.  The results were amazing!  The textures were unexpected and the kids kept running around to each other’s stations trying samples from each recipe.  Each recipe was so simple, and I highly recommend trying one or all at home!

Recipe #1

The BEST basic play-dough recipe

playdough stirring      red koolaid

I found this recipe at the blog, The 36th Avenue.

Kool-Aid Play-dough

Prep time: 10 mins                      Total time:  10 mins
Author: Desiree Campbell
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • ¼ Cup Salt
  • 1 Packet Kool-Aid
  • ⅔ Cup Water *You will end up using between ½ and ⅔ cup.
  • 1 Tb. Oil
  1. Mix the flour, the salt, and the Kool-Aid together.
  2. Boil the water.
  3. Add the oil to the water.
  4. Pour some of the water into the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon. Keep adding water and work the dough until the color is uniform and feels like playdough.
*Don’t feel like you need to use the full ⅔ Cup water. The amount you’ll use will be between ½ and ⅔ of a cup. Store the playdough in an air tight bag or these small containers. This recipe will fill 6 {2 oz.} mini cups.
For the other “recipes”, there really aren’t specific recipes.  Part of the fun, is having the kids play with the proportions until they find a texture and consistency they are pleased with.
Recipe  #2

Cornstarch and Baby Oil

Baby Oil doughWe ended up using about half of a box of cornstarch and a quarter to a half bottle of baby oil.  This was an interesting one.  The kids decided it looked like mashed potatoes, but felt like snow!  This dough was quite stiff, and not very malleable.  But the kids loved how it smelled and felt.

Recipe #3


Cornstarch and Liquid Tempera

dough 3


With this recipe, we used about half of a box of cornstarch and half of a bottle of liquid tempera.  They kids LOVED the vivd color of this dough.  It was more malleable than the baby oil, but did leave a tint of paint on their hands as they played.  The kids didn’t care, but you would need to be careful about the surface on which they play with this one.

Recipe #4

Cornstarch and Dish Liquid

dough 4


This recipe used about half of a box of cornstarch and about a quarter bottle of dish liquid.  This mixture was definitely a favorite!  They were able to shape and mold it easily, and loved the fresh scent.

Recipe # 5 and THE WINNER OF THE DAY!! 

Cornstarch and Hair Conditioner

Conditioner dough

dough 1With a texture similar to that of marshmallow fluff, without the stickiness, this was definitely a favorite!  It wasn’t quite as good for molding and creating solid shapes, but the sensory experience was over the top.  The kids sat and squished, pulled, and stretched this dough for a good 15-20 minutes, forgetting all about the other recipes for a while.

This was such a fun activity.  Even though the cornstarch recipes weren’t as moldable as the standard play-dough recipe, the sensory aspects of the cornstarch recipes were so valuable.  The kids loved having to mix and test, and mix and test again to find the perfect proportions, and really stretched their minds finding new vocabulary when comparing and contrasting the various characteristics of the recipes.

What a fun day!



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