April 21, 2013

Play Dates {Kool Aid}

Playful Play Dates - Kool Aid Activities

This is the first of many posts about play dates.  I have been an organizer in my playgroup for a couple of years, and my boys look forward hosting our weekly play dates.  In the past we have painted, played with playdough, done obstacle courses, created crafts and engaged in water play.  Last summer we even filled the play pool with shaving cream then rinsed off in the sprinkler after playing.  (The post only shows my older two boys.  I did not write about having our shaving cream play date.)  I have many play date ideas to share, the first being our recent Kool Aid play date.

We don't drink Kool Aid, but it sure is fun to play with!  It smells amazing and adds a new level to sensory exploration.  For our play date I set up four ways to play with Kool Aid.

1.  Kool Aid watercolors

Supplies: (affiliate links provided)

To make Kool Aid watercolors mix Kool Aid and water.  Voila!  You're ready to paint.  This was a huge hit, especially with the toddlers and preschoolers.

2.  Kool Aid and Shaving Cream


JZ (5) squirted shaving cream onto our toddler table.  A few of the kids chose a Kool Aid flavor, opened the packets, and dumped the powder directly onto the shaving cream.  It was gorgeous.

The children were mesmerized watching the colors blend to create a marbelized shade of pink.

Please note:  A few of the children complained that their hands and arms itched after playing with the shaving cream and Kool Aid mixture for a few minutes.  I slathered a large amount of the mixture on my hand and left it there for a solid five minutes.  It did not itch or bother me at all.  I am guessing their complaints were about the tingly texture.  My boys play with shaving cream on a regular basis, and adding Kool Aid definitely changed the texture.  The powder made it gritty until well mixed.

3.  Kool Aid Eruptions


I used one packet of Kool Aid per container.  I refilled the containers a few times, so every child at our play date had the opportunity to start at least one eruption.

Please note:  NO vinegar is required to cause a reaction with Kool Aid and baking soda.  The citric acid in Kool Aid reacts with baking soda when water is added.

I think the Kool Aid eruptions were the favorite part of the play date for most of the children.

Can you blame them?

Although I don't drink Kool Aid I sure do love the smell.  These eruptions smelled delicious.  We love watching vinegar and baking soda react, but I have to admit I do not enjoy the smell.  Kool Aid provides a much better substitute!

After watching a few eruptions the children stuck their hands in the mixture and played.

4.  Kool Aid Bubbles


These were so much fun and so simple to make.  One of my playgroup friends turned me on to this recipe for homemade bubbles.  Glycerin bubble solution makes giant bubbles, much bigger than store bought!

My twin toddlers (21 months) thought the giant bin of bubble solution was intended for sensory play, and they didn't waste any time getting messy.  It was quite comical.

And messy.

If you follow my blog you know we love messy play, but I think this was literally the messiest Tank has ever been.  After sitting in the Kool Aid bubble solution for awhile he decided to climb into the sandbox.

As you can see Kool Aid play is very messy.  Don't let that scare you!  Read Tips and Tricks for Messy Play to understand the benefits of messy play and to get ideas for keeping it under control.  These red hands were almost 100% clean and Kool Aid free after just one bath.  The next day the red was completely gone.

All of our clothes came clean as well thanks to these Laundry Tips.  Please note:  I warned the other parents in advance to dress their children in play clothes and to bring a spare outfit.  If you host a messy play date be sure to prep all of the parents ahead of time.

For more ideas  follow my Sensory Activities board on Pinterest.  

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Other play date ideas:


  1. It was so fun Allison!!! The kids had a great time. And I was totally going to mention that the laundry tips got the kool aid out of the kids clothes :)

  2. Such fun. The pic of your son IN the bubble bin made me laugh out loud and then the after one is hilarious! Love the mess. I will have to try these once we get the backyard cleaned up enough to do activities back there.
    Leah @ Simple.Home.Blessings.

  3. These look awesome. I really have to buy some KoolAid.

    I would love it if you would come link up on our Artsy Play Wednesday linky.


  4. I love this post Allison! Fabulous photos! Thanks for all the linky love <3

  5. My daughter also complained of itchiness after I did a Barbasol bathtub - so I tried it and I kind of agree. In any event, I'm going to do every one of these, if I can get over worrying about how much she's going to ingest. I think the shaving cream and the eruptions are going to be huge!

  6. My kids and I had so much fun doing the Kool-Aid eruptions today. They loved the icy blue one the best!

  7. the volcano looks so fun. can you tell me how much baking soda was added and how much water, etc. Also, did they add the water slowly? thanx so much.

    1. I didn't actually measure. If I were to guess based on the size of the containers I would say about 1/4 cup of baking soda per container and one cup of water. It doesn't have to be exact, though. :)


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