How To Make Playdough

We were struck down hard by the flu bug for nearly two weeks. My poor kiddos have been lethargic with only spurts of energy. They waiver between lying on the couch taking small sips of water and short bursts of wanting something to do. They keep asking to take out the play dough. “Um, you’re a hacking pile of slime right now mayyyyybe we should pass on the play dough?” Nope. Must have play dough.

Kids are gross. I love ’em but ew. They sneeze into their hands and wipe them on the table. They use one small corner of a tissue to rearrange the snot on their face and go back to eating dry cereal with their fingers. They PROMISE me they’ve washed their hands, but I’m not entirely confident in their promises. Squishing all those germs into the play dough and then sealing it inside an air tight container feels more like a DIY petri dish experiment than play time fun. Ick!

So, I pulled out our favorite recipe for homemade play dough and started cooking. Most moms cook up a big batch of chicken soup for their sick kids (which by now you know my picky eaters won’t eat that anyway). But, this mom cooks up a batch of homemade play dough? Whatever. A mom has got to do what a mom has got to do to make it through the thousandth sick day! Am I right?

Here is what you need:

2 Cups flour

½ Cup salt

1 packet of Kool Aid

1 Cup boiling water (I ran my tap until the water was at its hottest)

3 Tablespoons oil (Sunflower, or Vegetable works best)


Mix the flour, salt and Kool Aid together first.  Next, add oil to the boiling water before pouring into the bowl. The fun part is watching the colors magically appear.

The dough will resemble crumbles at first. That’s when it’s time for all hands on deck! Everyone can take turns kneading the dough until it becomes a smooth ball.

play dough crumbles

After you’ve made all your play dough, store the dough in an air tight container (a plastic baggie works too). We made a few different colors.

play dough boxes2

This recipe is cheap and it makes enough play dough that I can portion out to have on hand for a few sick days. I toss it immediately after my kids sneeze into it.

You don’t have to reserve this recipe for your kids’ sick day. You can make it any time! 😉

How do you keep the kids entertained on sick days?

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!


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23 Comments on Make Your Own Play Dough For Sick Days

  1. we go through a lot of play dough here in our house.
    It’s a perfect activity when the kids are needing a little bit of quiet time. I’m all about the hand sanitizer too and my lysol spray! Germs be gone!

  2. Playdough is good any time, just like you said! When my daughter was sick, she wanted me to read to her. I quickly figured out that she just needed me in sight. So I let her rest wherever she wanted. Made some extra clean up from time to time, but I did manage to recover part of my day without having to read to her 12 hours in a row!

    • I could write a whole other post on how to protect your living room furniture from a sick kid. lol My girls wanted to be in front of TV and where they could see me. That makes the couch the perfect spot. But germs. LOL We’ve created our own little system for comfort.

  3. What fun! I bet there are a lot of kids that would love to do this. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  4. This is a great cheap way to do it, especially on a rainy day. I no longer buy my daughter play doh because I’ve had to get my carpet cleaned on more than one occasion because of it.

  5. We are definitely big fans of homemade playdough. There are so many wonderful recipes! The sky is the limit. The last one we made was Fairy playdough with pink colorings and lots of glitter.

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