Summer quickly brings back memories of childhood for me. My mother was an elementary school teacher, so we were able to spend wonderful sun-filled summer days together when I was growing up. We splashed in kiddie pools in the backyard, spent time at the local library, picnicked under a magical flower-filled tree at our home—and there were plenty of glasses of Kool-Aid, coupled with tons of messy fun.
This summer I’m getting to relive some of those memories with my own toddler by combining the Kool-Aid and messy fun into some activities that are exciting and safe for him. Brooks is 19 months and doesn’t miss a thing. He’s enjoying helping out in the kitchen, mixing and measuring, so these giggle-filled activities also create an opportunity to talk about numbers and colors.
So put on your play clothes, head to the kitchen, and get ready to watch your child’s eyes light up!
Brooks, like most toddlers, loves to explore new textures and tastes. Unfortunately, some of those textures and tastes are tried out on items he shouldn’t be tasting. I found versions of this recipe on Pinterest and was ecstatic to see they didn’t include Borax or gelatin. It’s completely safe to taste, which is important with curious toddlers.
1 tablespoon of a clear fiber supplement with psyllium (the kind you dissolve in water)
1 cup of water
Kool-Aid packets for color and scent
-Combine the fiber supplement (this will only work if it contains psyllium) and water in a large microwavable bowl, along with a half-packet of Kool-Aid. You could also use a few drops of food coloring, instead.
-Stir until everything is dissolved.
-Microwave on high until you see bubbles (about 2 minutes, but keep an eye on it).
-Continue microwaving for 1 minute (again, keep an eye on it).
-After one minute of bubbling, stir the mixture.
-Microwave another 2 minutes.
-Remove the mixture from the microwave and allow it to cool. The concoction will still be liquid at this point, but it will thicken.
-Repeat with other colors.
-Make certain to check the temperature of the center of the slime before giving it to the kiddos to play.
Whipped Cream Paint
Think finger paint, except tasty, and safe to go from your child’s fingers to his lips. My son loves to help me cook, so he likes to transfer the ingredients to our mixer. Then after we divide the whipped cream up into containers, we discuss colors, and I let him help pour the Kool-Aid “dye” and stir.
2 cans of full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk (so there will be plenty to play with)
2-6 teaspoons powdered sugar, or sweeten with Stevia to taste (optional)
A dash of vanilla (optional)
-Place cans of coconut milk in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
-Gently open cans without shaking. The top part of the can will be hardened cream.
-Spoon out the solid part of the cans’ contents into a mixer (you can use the liquid later for smoothies).
-Add sweetener and vanilla.
-Whip until fluffy.
-Divide into cups (I use paper cups placed in a small cupcake tin for portability/stability, or just put the mixture straight into the tin).
-Add different colors of Kool-Aid to each cup and stir.
-Place waxed paper or poster board down for your child to use, along with paintbrushes and kitchen tools, and let them be creative!
Kool-Aid Lip Gloss
This one is more for the older kids, but too much fun not to include. It’s also practical to have on hand for the whole family if you spend time in dry, cold, or just about any other outdoor condition.
2 tablespoons Coconut oil
About 1 teaspoon sugar or other natural sweetener (optional, but takes the tartness out of the Kool-Aid)
-In a microwave safe bowl, soften coconut oil in the microwave for about 5 seconds and stir well. (Don’t overheat. It’s shouldn’t be in liquid form.)
-In another container or cup, pour in about ¼ package of Kool-Aid and add enough water to form a paste.
-Whisk in sugar.
-Add Kool-Aid mixture to softened coconut oil until desired color is reached and whisk.
-Keep whisking. This takes elbow grease. Don’t expect it to be easy and smooth immediately.
-Spoon into 2 oz. makeup containers. You can find them in most craft stores and big box department stores.
-Let the mixture cool completely, or place in the refrigerator for a bit after dividing into containers.
***Things to remember about this project: Kool-Aid can stain counters and fingers, so older children and adults should probably do the mixing. Or, be sure to put down a protective covering over whatever surface you are working on. Also, the colors in the jars will appear much darker in the jar than on lips.