I love cinnamon scented playdough, which I listed here, but I also love the fruity scent of Kool-Aid scented playdough! Adding an extra appeal to the senses could hardly be easier! Start with the Classic Playdough Recipe. Add a packet of Kool-Aid to the water before adding it to the pan. Ta-da! Simple, right? Now, if you already have a batch of playdough made up, you can also knead the powder right into the dough. It takes a bit of time to get it mixed through, but because it hasn’t been cooked, the scent may actually be stronger that way. Just be sure that the powder has been worked in completely. You may even want to let it sit overnight to be sure that the powder has been fully absorbed.
I recently kneaded some grape Kool-Aid (OK, it was Flavor-Aid, I’m a cheap skate!) into some leftover glitter playdough. The color intensified and the smell was fantastic! Some of the children even watched the transformation and were excited by it, asking for more Kool-Aid to mix into other playdough batches.
Adding a scent to your playdough takes a tactile sensory activity and adds another sense, making it multi-sensory. It is appealing to the children, literally inviting the children to come explore as the scent wafts across the room! It is also a great way to extend a familiar activity. In addition to sensory development, playdough play enhances creativity and fine motor strength.
More from the “Exploring the Arts through Our Senses” unit here!
For more food-themed activities, click here!
I’ve always wanted to try this, but worried about it staining. Is it safe?
Once the Kool-Aid is mixed in and absorbed into the playdough, it doesn’t come off onto hands. The only problem I’ve noticed is when it got left on a table (without an art tray) for quite some time. The table had a little residual stain, but it’s hard to say whether that was completely because of the Kool-Aid or the colorant in the playdough as well. (It was left out quite a while.) I would say use one packet per recipe, let it sit in a Ziplock overnight to absorb the powder if you’re really worried, and you should be safe. Use art trays to protect your table, but hands should be fine. Have Fun!