March 17, 2014

Color Surprise Rainbow Playdough

Spring Activities for Kids - Making Color Surprise Playdough

Dazzle your kids with this color surprise playdough recipe!  It's the softest playdough ever, and children will love discovering the hidden colors.

We're back with more spring activities for kids, a month long series with Jaime of FSPDT.  Last week we made homemade mud paint using real mud!  The theme for this week is homemade playdough.  We've been slightly obsessed with rainbows lately and in desperate need of a new batch of playdough.  Instead of deciding on one color of playdough I decided to make an entire rainbow of playdough colors!  Better yet, my boys had so much fun with the color surprise eruptions we made last summer that I decided to make color surprise playdough, using this method from Teach Preschool.

How to make rainbow color surprise playdough - Kids will love the surprise color that appears from this super soft playdough recipe!

How to Make Color Surprise Rainbow Playdough

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First I made seven batches of my favorite playdough recipe.  For each batch I combined 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup salt, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in my Kitchenaid mixer.  I used the dough hook and mixed the ingredients on a medium low speed.  I added 3/4 cup boiling water and let the Kitchenaid do its magic.  Occasionally it is necessary to use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.  After a few minutes the playdough should be well mixed and ready.

Next I used my finger to press a hole in each batch of playdough, and then I filled the hole with liquid watercolor paint and carefully covered the hole with playdough.

The boys had been playing while I mixed the playdough, so they had no idea that there were hidden colors inside.  I set each color on a baking dish to contain all the color and invited the boys to play.

Color surprise playdough is an excellent activity to boost fine motor skills.

The playdough needs to be mashed and mixed well to show the color.

JZ (6) got into it the most, and he was determined to mix the color evenly.

Peanut (32 months) actually cried a bit when the yellow color shot out of his playdough.  Once he realized it was intentional and all he had to do was mix he settled down a bit.

As you can see, this can be quite a messy activity.  The good news is that liquid watercolors wash away easily.  Here are tips for messy play as well as laundry tips to avoid stains and keep clothes bright.

The younger three boys mashed their playdough for awhile before tiring, leaving JZ and me to finish mixing in all the color.

For more playdough recipes follow me on Pinterest.

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Be sure to see Jaime's Sunflower Playdough Recipe.

More Spring Activities for Kids:


  1. Lol! Looks like the kids had so much fun! I love this playdough magic trick ;) We've done it a few times with visiting kids and they enjoy a good surprise too! I am so excited to read all your posts for the month. What a great team of creative ladies :D Thanks for sharing!

  2. This was so simple and so effective. My little one loved it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi, I would love to try this but can't find liquid watercolors... I don't live in the States but can get the usual Crayola watercolors, and Faber-Castell watercolors. Will those work? Thanks!

    1. You can soak regular watercolors in a small amount of water to turn them into liquid watercolors. Also, regular food coloring or even paint will work. Paint will be messier, but if you use washable it shouldn't be a problem. :)


  4. This is such a great idea! I am a contributor author on Satisfaction Through Christ and we are doing a back to school round up this week and we would like to feature this post on there! Please let me know if this is ok and if we could use the photo image in the article. Congratulations on being featured! The article will post this Thursday :)

    1. That would be great, thank you. :)

    2. You're welcome, Allison! Is it ok if we use an image from this post for the article?

  5. Beautiful! I am thinking that hands must be a little bit "older" than my preschool class. I teach 3 and 4 year olds and I think they'd tire before it was well mixed. Now, Kindergarten or 1st grade? Perfect!!!

  6. A Kitchenaid?!? Holy smokes. This is revolutionary! I hatehatehate making play-doh on the stove because it doesn't ever seem to turn out right. I must try this - thank you!! :)


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