Five Faves: A Week of Dough and Goo

There are a ton of recipes out there for kids these days.  Play dough recipes and ones for different kinds of fun slime and goo.  The problem is that many of them don't make a very good product.
I've put together a list of 5 excellent recipes.
I've created these "Five Faves" posts so that you can do one project each week day!  These posts are particularly good for school vacation weeks.  Use them however you wish
Have Fun!

Before we start... first the safety speech:

Some of these ingredients and directions are not safe for kids or tots.  Please read labels and proceed with caution.  While I've seen ALL of these recipes done with and for kids many times, I am a safety queen and I think safety should always come first.
DO NOT let your children consume the ingredients that are not made for human consumption.  DO NOT let your children near the stove if cooking is involved.
When you store these concoctions, put them where your kids cannot get them so that they play with them ONLY while being supervised by an adult.

Monday: Kool-Ade Play Dough
We don't actually drink Kool Ade at our house; we only make play dough with it.   When my kids see Kool Ade at the store they point and call out "Play dough!"
This play dough is really smooth and smells fruity.

1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
1 package unsweetened Kool-Ade (or generic)
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil


  1. in a bowl mix dry ingredients
  2. next add the oil
  3. add boiling water (hot!)
  4. mix together and then knead it once it is cooled down enough to work with
  5. add more flour if it is too sticky

Store it in an airtight container.

Tuesday: Gak
image from Internet
Note: This one in particular has ingredients that kids should not consume.  Do this with children that won't put it in their mouth.
Why am I including this one?  Because once you make it you'll realize it is too cool to not include in this list.  By the way, you'll see this concoction in recipe books for preschools... I'm really the only one that freaks out at the fact that Borax is an ingredient... but better safe than sorry.

note: you'll need multiple mixing bowls for this
5 Tbsp Borax
2 cups Elmers white glue
1 1/2 cups water (for glue)
1 cup hot water (for Borax)
liquid watercolor or food coloring (if desired)

directions (follow exactly or it won't turn out right):
  1. mix 2 cups of glue and 1 1/2 cups water in big bowl
  2. add color and stir
  3. dissolve the Borax in the hot water (separately from above mix) and stir it well
  4. SLOWLY pour the Borax mixture into the glue mixture
  5. mix with hands or wooden spoon
  6. keep kneading until it becomes a ball of Gak
Have fun!  Store it in an airtight container.
Soak clothing in vinegar to remove Gak from clothing.

Wednesday: Best Homemade Play Dough Ever
This is the recipe that my daughter's classroom uses.  There are lots of variations of this recipe but this one makes really good stuff and if you use Colorations Liquid Watercolors like they do you can make it nearly any color and the colors are very vibrant... they've even made jet black play dough!  You can use food coloring if you want a more basic and inexpensive option.

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup salt
2 cups water with color already added (food coloring or Colorations Liquid Watercolors)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  1. mix flour, cream of tartar and salt in a large sauce pan
  2. add water (with color) and oil
  3. mix well
  4. cook on medium heat and stir continuously
  5. cook until the mixture forms a ball
  6. remove from heat and remove from the pan
  7. knead for approximately 5 min.
  8. let cool
Store it in an airtight container.

Thursday: Oobleck
Random House 1949
This is one of my very favorite concoctions to make!  It is an amazing substance that will shock you when you realize that it is both a solid and a liquid!  If you "hit" the surface of it quickly it will feel hard.  If you pick it up and hold it it will melt through your fingers.  I've seen people on TV fill a large vat with Oobleck and then run across it without sinking in... then they'll step in slowly and their feet go right down to the bottom.

corn starch
food coloring if desired- easily gets on hands with this recipe

You'll read different ratios for the ingredients in different places.  I've found that the best way to make this is to get individual bowls for each child and make it separately for each one.  Put in about a cup of corn starch first.  Add water slowly (it will end up being about a 1:1 ratio).  You want the water to get all of the corn starch wet and you want a bit of extra water but not a puddle.  If you add too much water it won't ever get hard.  When you pick up pieces it should feel like a chunk but be able to melt in your hand.
You just need to try it out and get used to the right combo of water and corn starch.
*Keep it in the bowls to play with it.*
Clean up: Have kids fleck off as many of the chunks as they can into their bowl or the trash, then wash the rest off with warm water.  It comes off easily.  DO NOT store it in a closed container because it will get MOLD.  Either let it dry out and add new water the next time or pitch it and start over each time.
We had it in our sensory table once and kept it open but someone closed it and it sat over a weekend and it was not a pretty sight by Monday.  It also smelled horrible!

Friday: Snow Dough
Snow dough is great when you get it just right!  I add LOTS of fine glitter for an even snowier look.
Knead it a LOT before playing with it to get it to a good consistency.  Add flour if it is still too sticky.  The first time I made it it came out perfectly (as I remember) and yet the second time it was very sticky.  Also, make sure you have enough ingredients before you start, it calls for a large amount of stuff that typically comes in small boxes.

2 cups baking soda
1 cup corn starch
1 1/4 cups water
fine glitter (the more the better)

  1. mix backing soda and corn starch together in a sauce pan
  2. gradually stir in water
  3. bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly until it begins to thicken
  4. remove from heat while it is still easy to stir (do not overcook)
  5. remove from pan and cover with wet cloth until cool enough to knead
  6. knead a LOT
  7. add lots of fine glitter (if desired)
Store it in an airtight container.

This dough may be baked or air dried after creating with it.  If you would like to bake your creations  at 200 degrees for 1-2 hours or air dry for 3 to 4 days.

More "Five Faves" Fun:
Five Faves: A Week of Fun Discovery Bottles

Other fun recipes to try (I have not actually tried these yet):
DIY Soap Crayons - Made by Kids from Childhood 101
Cornstarch and Glue Play Dough from Inspiration Laboratories

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Please let us know if you try these recipes with your children.  We'd love to hear about how it went!
What are your favorite dough or goo recipes to make with kids?

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