Kids' Concoctions

by Laurie Krulc

Related Articles

Summer Entertainment

Summer Fun Cheaply Done

Summer Event Savings

If your kids are bored during the summer, here are some creative mixtures that they can cook up! Please provide adult supervision, especially when the recipe calls for a possibly toxic ingredient or when actual cooking is involved. I have found that kids of all ages enjoy creating these mixtures. The best thing is that after they are done creating they will probably spend a lot of time playing with or admiring the resulting concoction!


Below is a recipe for the basic fun dough that kids love to manipulate, as well as a few other recipes you may not have tried. With their different colors, scents, and textures, these doughs provide a smorgasbord of sensory stimulation! Playing with dough has proven to be therapeutic and calming for people of all ages, as well as helping to develop manual dexterity and hand strength. So, dig out the dough when the kids need to settle down.

Basic Dough

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
2 T. cream of tartar
2 cups water
1 T. mineral oil
*food coloring

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until stiff. Allow to cool. Knead until smooth.

You can add flavored extracts to this mixture at the end, for a variety of scents.

*Paste food coloring gives a more intense color, but is also more expensive than the liquid. Some people use packages of powdered, unsweetened drink mix.

Chocolate Dough

1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup salt
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp. cooking oil
1 cup boiling water

Mix together dry ingredients. Add liquid ingredients. Stir quickly and thoroughly. Cook over low heat until mixture forms a ball. Knead when cool.

Autumn Dough

1 cup water
1 T. oil
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*
1 tsp. cinnamon
orange food coloring

Mix together all ingredients. Cook mixture until it forms a ball. Knead when cool. Add more flour if needed.

For Christmas dough, you could omit these seasonings and add peppermint extract and red food coloring.

Oat Dough

1 cup oatmeal
2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup oil

Mix until desired consistency. You can add more water or flour as needed.

Coffee Dough

2 cups used coffee grounds
1/2 cup salt
1 1/2 cups cornmeal

Mix all together and add water to moisten.

Sawdust Dough

2 cups sawdust
3 cups flour
1 cup salt

Combine these ingredients with water to hold together. You can shape this dough and let it air dry. It becomes very hard.

Keep It Dough

2 cups baking soda
1 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water

Combine all ingredients and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Cool and then knead to a smooth texture. You can shape this dough and let it dry overnight. It can be painted after it hardens.

Peanut Butter Dough

1 cup Peanut Butter
1 cup Corn Syrup
1 1/2 cup powdered milk
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Truly edible, so this would be a good one for toddlers who like to taste everything.

Miscellaneous Kids Concoctions


1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 tsp. Alum

Combine flour and sugar in a saucepan. Slowly stir in cold water until smooth (a whisk will help). Slowly add boiling water. Stir to break up any lumps. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thick and clear. Remove from heat and stir in alum.

Crystal Garden

6 T. salt
6 T. liquid bluing*
6 T. water
1 T. clear ammonia
food coloring
several charcoal briquettes

Arrange charcoal in a glass bowl or pie plate. Combine the salt, bluing, water and ammonia. Pour over the charcoal. Drop various colors of food coloring all over the charcoal. Crystals will begin to grow all over the charcoal. They will continue to grow for several days. Fascinating.

* You can find this in a small blue bottle in the laundry section of the supermarket.


2 T. sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 cups cold water
1/4 cup dish liquid
food coloring or tempera paint

Mix sugar and cornstarch in a sauce pan. Slowly stir in water. Cook and stir over low heat until smooth and transparent. Remove from heat and cool. Stir in the dish liquid. Divide into a few containers and color each with the food coloring or paint.


3 cups water
1 cup dish liquid
1/3 cup corn syrup

Mix together. Keep in a jar and use within a couple of weeks.

Puffy Paint

Mix together equal parts of:


Add liquid tempera paint for color. Put these in squeeze bottles and allow paint to flow without pushing or dragging on it. The pictures will dry puffy.

Sparkle Finish

1 large jar of hair gel
1 small container of very fine glitter

Stir together and paint over any finished art project for a beautiful sparkly finish.

Share your thoughts about this article with the editor

Stay Connected with TDS


It's tough raising kids today!

Dollar Stretcher for Parents is a weekly newsletter designed just for parents that will help save your family both time and money.

Little Luxuries

And get a copy
of our ebook
Little Luxuries:
130 Ways to Live Better...For Less
for FREE!

Your Email:

View the TDS Privacy Policy.

Debt Book