Friday, June 07, 2013

Play Doh

I have, in the past, extolled the virtues of Kool Aid as an all purpose, non-toxic dye.  In my early days of blogging, I dyed yarn.  This past Christmas, I dyed play silks.  When I was a teenager, it was en vogue to dye your hair with it, but I never did.  Basically, Kool Aid is a pretty cheap source of dye.

This time around, inspired by Pinterest,  I decided to give it a go with play dough.  When I was a kid, my grandma made play doh.  But the texture just wasn't the same as the store bought stuff and the colors were faint and limited.  I wanted to make something smoother and brighter.  I started with this recipe.  The only deviation I made was to just use the full amount of water (2/3 cup) and then add extra flour until it was a nice, non-sticky consistency. After stirring, I kneaded it with a little extra flour as well, like you'd do with any kind of dough.

In the name of science, I tried almost all of the current colors of Kool Aid I could find.

Kool Aid Play Dough

A true red eluded me, as was the case with my other Kool Aid attempts, so I stopped myself from trying a few other "red" flavors.  The Lemonade made more of an off-white than a true yellow.  And the Grape turned into a gritty color though the texture of the dough was fine.  I did get a little of the concentrated color on my hands during the making stage, but I didn't notice any dye coming off on hands as we played.  And we've played with it a lot in the last week.

Kool Aid Play Dough 02

Rykert helped me package it up into the little condiment cups, and the next day we gave it a try.  It had a really nice silky texture.  The bonus is that it smells really good too.  Luckily, my sister had a stockpile of Play Doh toys in her closet (actually 2 sets of Play Doh toys) so we could try it out.

Play doh #latergram

I'm watching to see how long it lasts.  So far, so good.  We're basically a week in and it continues to hold up.  I used olive oil, and I'm not sure how long that will take to go rancid if I keep it air tight.  But the texture held up surprisingly well as we played with it.

Scout playing play dough

Not unlike real Play Doh, it tastes horrible and salty, or at least I imagine it does.  And not unlike real Play Doh, the 2 year old decided she needed to taste it for herself, despite my continuous please to not eat it.

Last night she picked up this bit of green and announced, "It's a DINOSAUR."

Scout's Play Dough Dinosaur

I think I might have had more fun playing with it than she did...

Untitled Untitled Untitled

Next time armed with knowledge, I think I will make fewer colors.  Our favorites:

  • Watermelon Pink (smelled yummy)
  • Strawberry
  • Orange
  • Peach Mango
  • Lemonade (close enough to white)
  • Lemon Lime
  • Berry Blue
  • Grape

Last year I tried a different recipe that uses Jello to color the dough.  It also resulted in a nice texture, but the process of cooking the dough made it a little more time consuming  - not to mention I tried to knead it too soon and ended up with surface burns on my hands.  So, in the future, I'll still to this Kool Aid method.  If only there was brown and black?

1 comment(s). Tell me what you think!:

Anonymous said...

I'll bet if you just mixed equal parts of each color, it would make brown. Just guessing though. :-)

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