If you’re feeling anything like me right now, you’re ready for something to keep the kids busy for more than 5 minutes at a time! Something that doesn’t require you to leave the house and maybe something that occupies the kids enough that you don’t hear “MOMMY!” every minute and a half.
School was cancelled for us Friday after only being back from winter break for 2 days. I honestly didn’t want the snow day….yet! A two-hour delay would have been wonderful, but I wasn’t ready to be cooped up in the house yet another day.
We made Koolaid playdough. This is, by far, my favorite homemade playdough recipe. You probably have these five ingredients at home already. The kids can help you make it, the kids love playing with it, and it’s edible (a plus if you have younger ones)!
I know many parents turn their noses up to playdough. They think: mess, mixing colors, dried out crusties, expensive little canisters that seem to just evaporate, and the thought of touching the playdough freaks them out. Hear me out on this – this recipe eliminates the colors mixing and the crusties for the most part. It also costs next to nothing to make! Consider taking one for the team and making playdough with your little one.
You will need:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup salt
1 packet of Koolaid
1 1/2 Tbps vegetable oil
1 cup boiling water
Mix the flour, salt, and Koolaid packet in a bowl. Then add the vegetable oil and water. You can mix with a wooden spoon until the water cools a bit, but then it works best if you knead it. Be sure the dough is cooled completely before allowing your child to play with it.
To enhance the experience, give them things to use with the playdough like: plastic forks and spoons, cups, rolling pins, and cookie cutters.
Playdough is so good for the little ones for so many reasons:
1. Fine Motor Skills. The squishing and rolling builds their finger and hand muscles, which in turn strengthens their fine motor skills – important down the road for writing, using scissors, and self-help skills.
2. It’s calming. I don’t necessarily enjoy playing all the things with my kids that they want me to play. I can honestly say that I love playing with playdough. It’s calming to knead, much like a stress ball.
3. Hand-eye Coordination. When you add things like cookie cutters, rolling pins, and plastic silverware for them to use with the playdough, you are adding an element of hand-eye coordination. Hand-eye coordination is something best learned through play at this age, but it’s so important to learn.
4. Makes Learning Fun. If you are sitting with them, you can make all types of letters and numbers, helping those literacy and math skills. You can even have them make a number then roll little balls of playdough to match the number they made. We have playdough shape cutters that we were able to use to make playdough patterns, while reviewing shapes and colors, and having fun.
5. Exploring with Senses. This playdough, especially, invites children to use a wide range of senses while playing. The koolaid element gives this playdough such a yummy smell and a pretty color. The squishy texture of playdough is a feeling that kids might not normally feel, exposing them to many more opportunities for exploration.
If you seal in an airtight container or Ziplock bag, this should last 2-3 months! Enjoy!
Until next time…
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”