October 16, 2011

Magical Playdoh Mix

This isn't really a new idea for us, but rather a variation on our KoolAid Playdoh that I made up as party favors.  The mix looks almost totally white in the bag, but add the wet ingredients and the color and scent "magically" appear!!

Basically, I just mixed up the dry ingredients for a batch of KoolAid playdoh, then packaged it up with my own set of directions and the cute little printables I found here.  I didn't calculate the actual cost per bag, but it was definitely well under a dollar.  Not bad considering it makes a pretty decent-sized amount of dough and the kids have the fun of both making and then playing with the playdoh!

Here's what you need:  (for one bag)

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 2 packets of unsweetened KoolAid powder ( I decided to use two packets instead of the one I usually do so the color and scent would be a little more vibrant,noticeable and "magical")
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar (in the spices section)
Here's what to do:

1.  Mix up your ingredients in a small bowl.  I did mine three at a time, assembly-line style since I was making 24 packages for our party.

2.  Put the combined ingredients in a bag.  I used a ziploc bag and then tied it with some ribbon.  Write up the directions and attach it to the bag.

Here are the directions I wrote up:

    Magical Playdoh Mix!

To make your playdoh:
  • Empty this bag into a large bowl.
  • Have an adult help you boil one cup of water and 1 ½ tbsp. of oil.

    Are you ready for the magic?

  • Carefully pour the boiling water and oil into the powder.

    Did the color and scent magically appear?

  • Stir the mixture with a large spoon until it's mixed and cool enough to handle, then remove it from the bowl and knead it well until it's all the way combined.
    (If your mixture is a little too wet or sticky, add some extra flour, a little at a time, until it's the right consistency)
  • Have fun playing with your new playdoh, then store it in a sealed bag or container until you want to play with it again.

NOTE: Out of the three batches we mixed up, two turned out perfectly, but one was rather wet and sticky.  Not sure why that happened (different bag of flour perhaps?), but we just added some more flour a little at a time until the stickiness went away.

The Magical Playdoh Mix all packaged up!

These both look white, but one is cherry and the other is grape!!

Our favor bags (under $1 each, but pretty darn cute)

I packaged up the playdoh mix with swedish fish and goldfish in the favor bags!

And here's what those plain bags 
of white playdoh mix turned into:

They look great and smell even better!!

Finally here are a few "action" shots 
of the "magic" happening:

They all look the same

"Wow, it's like magic!!"

Mixing it up!

"Mine's orange!"


  1. How cute! Forget the kids, I'm mixing some up for myself. :)

    1. I was thinking the same thing.

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  2. Too cute! I just need to find out what to substitute for cool aid and cream of tartar (I had some in my drawer for ages that a friend from Canada sent me, but I think I threw it out a while ago :-(). thanks for the recipe and instructions, this sure looks like great fun :-).

  3. How cute! I love this idea. I bet all the kids LOVE it.

  4. I love kool-aid play-dough. We use this in my class just for scented dough aspect. I had never thought of doing the magic colors--we will now!

  5. I love all your great ideas so I had to give you an award, you can see it on my blog at
    Thanks for all the wonderful posts, my kids love your ideas!

  6. This is an amazing idea! If only i could buy cool aid powder in the UK!

    1. I would b more than happy to send u some. My fone # is 209 947 2318.

  7. I will be posting about this tomorrow on my blog! it was the current most viewed link from mom it monday! :)

  8. Love it! Please post this, and anything else you may have,in my link party at



  9. Oh my gosh, LOVE LOVE LOVE! My kids will totally die over this! Can't wait to make it- what a fun thing to pull out for a snow day or a playdate. Thanks!

  10. What a smart idea! I love the idea of it being "magical." Kids would eat this up!

  11. How fun! I cannot wait to do this with my three littles.

  12. That is a way cool idea for party favors! I love it -my kids would love it too! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

  13. What an adorable idea. I'm pinning it so I can remember when I need it.

  14. What a great party favor idea! I love this playdoh mix because it smells so good. :) just stopping by from Sunday Scoop link party and I would love to have you link up at my Follow me Friday's!
    -Robyn from http://tipsfromtheheart.blogspot.com

  15. This is such a great idea! I had seen the kool aid play dough before, but giving it as a favor is so clever. I'm your newest follower!

  16. Cute idea!

    ~Mrs. Delightful

  17. What a fun idea! Great for parties ;-) I just pinned it on Pinterest! Thank you for sharing this with us on The Sunday Showcase

  18. This is a spectacular idea! Does it smell like real Playdough? There's something about that stuff that I love. Maybe cuz it brings back memories or something. Anyway, love the bright colors you got with your recipe. :-)

  19. Hi; just found your blog today; I LOVE this idea and will use it for my kids' b-day party coming up. I was wondering...how big are the ziploc bags you used? Thanks! :)

  20. Marie, I used the sandwich size ziploc bags. I didn't want to run the risk of the powder spilling out. With the sandwich size they were big enough to seal and then also tie it closed with the ribbon. I just had to squeeze the extra air out first.

  21. Love this idea! We're making these as Christmas gifts for the kids at my daughter's daycare with a couple extra for the daycare to make with the kids first. Thanks for the wonderful idea!

  22. Laura, how far in advance did you prepare the favor bags? Does it matter? I'm thinking of making this for favors for my son's birthday party, and anything I can do well in advance is a plus!

  23. Lesley, I'm very much a last minute type of person, so I think I made these up two days before the party. However, I don't see why you couldn't make them up sooner. In fact, we had a couple extra bags that we made into playdough a week or so after the party and they seemed to work fine. :)

  24. I want to do this with my class. Do you think I can use a coffee maker to heat my water?

    1. I think so. A coffee maker usually gets the water pretty hot, so it should work.

  25. I know that when you drink Kool Aid you get a color mustache, when the kids play with the dough does it come off on your hands?

  26. The color is what I meant to ask. Does the color come onto your hands

  27. Lydia, the color doesn't come off on your hands at all when you play with the dough. However, when you first pour in the water and start mixing it with your hands, a little might come off then. (I've only found it usually just happens a little with the red colors and only when you're first making the playdoh and all the powder hasn't been mixed in yet)

    Hope this helps!

  28. How long does this playdough last?

  29. Both the dry mix and the actual playdoh have lasted for months if it's sealed up in a plastic bag or container. :)

  30. did you use the 1 1/2 cups amount for each child? I'm thinking about making it for a gift for my 12 preschool class. Thanks for the tips

  31. I made these for my nieces this past Christmas and they loved it. I posted a picture of them and a link to your page here:


    Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas!


  32. Just wondering what kind of flour can be substituted. My son is allergic to wheat and I am not sure what other kind of flours could be used?

    1. http://messypreschoolers.blogspot.com/2011/07/no-four-playdough.html

      You can use Koolaid instead of paint

  33. This looks awesome! Can't wait to try it!

  34. This was a fun idea saw it a small group at church and saw that my nephew and niece loved it so ran to the market and made some for them hope they love it

  35. I love this! Made it today and it's a hit! BTW, my last batch was sticky as well (I did 3), and I figured out it's due to the buildup of oil from the first 2 batches left over in the pan that I boiled the water in. I added more flour and voila, it worked beautifully! Thanks so much for sharing.

  36. If you do not have cream of tarter is it necessary for the dough to work? Im out right now but was looking to make it anyways to see what happens

  37. You can make it without the cream of tartar. It just acts as a preservative so it'll last longer.

  38. Lara - how large is the completed play-dough ball amount to? Like a standard size original play-dough container? I'm thinking of relabeling the ton of small empty containers we've accumulated to add to the favor for her birthday party.

  39. Michelle, it's definitely a little more than a standard sized container, but I'm not quite sure how much. I think the containers we usually store ours in are about a 2-cup size.

    Perhaps you can make up just one batch and test it out? You might even be able to half the recipe so that it would fit in a standard size empty container.

  40. I think i am going to try. Can you eat it?

  41. I love the idea of using this as a party favor, but it is also just a really great playdoh. I just mixed some up with my daughter and she is really enjoying it. Thanks for sharing it!

  42. Thanks for this! Such a hit!

  43. very good idea but what kind of oil? olive oil? vegetable oil? or will it make a difference?

    1. Hi Maddy. I just used regular vegetable oil, canola oil, whatever I had in my cupboard and they all worked fine. Olive oil may have a little more of an odor in it, but I'd think it would work too.

  44. I cannot thank you enough!!!
    I found out late this afternoon that the neighbor I'd having a party for her granddaughter (my daughter plays with her almost every Wednesday) tomorrow morning!!!
    I have no time, or money, to buy a gift...this is PERFECT!!!!!
    Thanks again!!!

  45. Hi: Why do we need 1/4 cup salt? what does the salt do here? My playdough turned out very well.. I am afraid to even taste it as I think the salt is so much!..

  46. How long does it stay fresh?

    1. Oops, sorry, just saw this. The unmixed powder stays fresh for awhile, at least a few weeks and probably much longer. Once it's mixed up, it's good for a while. Just how long depends on how it's sealed, how humid it is, and how clean the hands are playing with it. Several weeks if all conditions are good.

  47. Does the KoolAid need to be in it for any other purpose than color/scent? Trying to avoid chemicals these days.

    1. Nope, it's just for color and scent. Leave it out and you just have regular unscented playdoh.

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