Sparkly Kool Aid Play Dough Valentines {tutorial}

My kids go to public school, and a lot has changed in the school system since I was a kid. Gone are the days of homemade Valentine’s boxes and heart shaped cards laden with candy.  At the the school my children attend, we have been reduced to a white lunch sacks for the Valentine’s Day box, and absolutely no food related treats.  I completely understand the purpose behind the madness rules, however it is quite difficult to get into the spirit of the day with all of these restrictions!  In an effort to bring some creativity back to the day (an to avoid giving pencils, erasers, and tattoos AGAIN), my boys and I created a fun little Valentine made from baby food containers and homemade play dough. These were a huge hit last year, and I had several moms ask if they could copy the idea for this year. Sure thing ladies!  Enjoy!

Materials:

  • Plastic baby food containers like like these from Gerber. Washed and dried.  Note: if you don’t have access to these you can use the large sized clear resealable jewelry bags from Michaels or Hobby Lobby
  • Heart Stickers
  • Ribbon
  • Labels or a card to attach to the valentines
  • Ingredients for Playdough (see below)

Strawberry Sparkle Kool Aid Playdough Recipe (recipe found at playdough.com and adapted for this tutorial) Please note:  This playdough is not edible

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 teaspoons of Cream of Tartar
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 package of Strawberry Kool-Aid Mix (or any flavor of unsweetened Kool-Aid)
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • Red Glitter

Directions:

  • Mix dry ingredients in a large/medium pan.
  • Add water and oil.
  • Stir over medium heat until it looks as playdough.
  • The end result should have the color of your chosen kool aid.
  • Remove play dough from pan and place on a piece of wax paper to cool.
  • Once cooled, sprinkle with red glitter and kneed the dough until smooth.
  • Divide dough evenly into two inch balls.
  • Place balls of dough into clean and dry baby food containers or plastic bags and decorate with stickers and ribbon.
  • Attach To: and From: label directly to the container or tie a cute card to the package with ribbon.  Let your kids get creative with this step!
Here are our finished valentines!

 

Note: I gave my boys creative freedom on how they decorated these.  If I was going to decorate them, I would probably add the label to the top to cover the Gerber logo and then tie it all with a pretty red polka dotted ribbon.  Just sayin’!  I had to talk the kids into heart stickers instead of Star Wars or Sponge Bob so I wasn’t about to push the ribbon issue. Gotta pick your battle sometimes :)
Have Fun and Happy Valentine’s Day!
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18 thoughts on “Sparkly Kool Aid Play Dough Valentines {tutorial}

  1. A friend pinned this page, and I think it is the sweetest idea for Valentine’s Day. I was just out with my two older kids (5 and 3 1/2) trying to buy Valentines, and I really didn’t want to buy anything with candy, though the current trend seems to be giving Valentines with candy or a little present. Yours is an idea I can get behind and feel good about: 1. My kids will be crafty and creative; 2. It provides me an opportunity to be crafty and hands on with them; 3. It’s a unique idea; 4. It’s NOT candy (though with the Kool-Aid, sure to be tasty!). And because I also have a nine-month-old, I have plenty of Gerber food containers to upcycle.Thank you so much!

    • Jane,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! Your comment has made my day! I hope that you enjoy making this craft with your children and I would love to hear how they turn out! Have a great week!

      Rebecca

  2. Hey, now, I’m the PTA person in charge of those white lunch sack valentines bags! The PTA hast a tight budget and getting a valentine box craft for 575 students can get quite pricey! Time is also an issue, we’re only allocated so much time for the v-day party. And yes the whole snack thing sucks with all the allergies in the school. The ONLY snack that accommodates everyone is rice krispie treats, which yes is lame, but with budget concerns and health issues, it’s extremely challenging! I’d love to have apple slices, bananas, oranges and cheese sticks along with organic milk or water, but again, budget concerns are challenging!

    • I hear ya Tracey! My comments were not meant to offend anyone, and I am so sorry if they did! I have been on PTA planning committee and I know how very difficult it can be to work with the low budgets while taking into consideration all of the health concerns of the students. I was just trying to make the comparison to when I was a kid and things were much different. Kids were able to bring in treats from home and be a little more creative with their valentines. As a parent, and as someone who has been on the school party planning end, I am very thankful that we are able to still have parties at the school as I know many school districts are doing away with them all together. I just wish that we didn’t have so many restrictions although as I stated in my post, I understand why we do. I have heard so many other parents debating this issue so I am sure this is a hot topic among many school districts. Thanks for your comments and for bringing another perspective to this post! I appreciate it! :)

  3. Rebecca,
    I love love love this idea and plan on using this for my sons party. In regards to Tracey’s post about the white sacks…when I was growing up the school did not supply us with boxes. We made our own using old shoe boxes or any box at that. You could make anything you wanted to and decorate it however you wanted to. I can remember making a radio using a shoe box and covering it with construction paper, I the used tinfoil for the antena. The only thing it had to have was a small opening so that everyone could slide their valentine into your box, kind of like a mailbox. It was so much fun coming up with the design and then putting it all together. Maybe this is something your PTA could mention to the teachers. It would save a few more dollars on an already tight budget, can be done using all recycled materials, and would be an opportunity for the kids to show their creative side. Just an idea.
    Thanks again for the awesome idea Rebecca.

    • Thanks Colleen! I am so glad that you liked the craft. They make great Valentines to give to classmates but I have also heard from several teachers who are going to make them with their students as a fun classroom activity!

      Your suggestions regarding the Valentine’s Day boxes are great! I agree with the previous comments that it is so difficult sometimes to come up with great ideas for classroom parties, especially when there are budget constraints, etc. Your idea of having the kids bring something from home to decorate is a great solution for a tight party budget! It could be a shoebox, oatmeal container, Pringles can, lunch sack, cereal box, etc. The possibilities are endless! They could decorate these items at home or use it as part of an art lesson at school. I love that this idea gives the kids some ownership of the project and allows them to express their creative side!

      This is a great discussion and I appreciate your comments!

  4. does this last…. with all the food in the ingredience?
    worried this is get moldy? does it last a while? just wondering….. with the kool-aid and sugar…. ? and does the kool-aid stain your hands?

    • Hi Pat! Yes it will keep. Just put it in an airtight container in the fridge and you can keep it for about two weeks. As far as the Kool-aid staining hands I assume you mean when the kids are playing with the dough. We have never had a problem with that. The play dough turns a very light color once mixed and does not bleed onto hands during play. I appreciate your questions and I am sure they will help others as well! Thanks!

  5. Pingback: Valentine's Day Crafts

  6. If you use zip lock bags instead of the baby food containers you can make the playdough valentine look special by cutting it into the shape of a heart with a large heart shaped cookie cutter. So cute!

  7. I’m a pre school teacher and wanted to make these for my students but I didn’t see where it shows you how. Could you please give me that info?

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