Keepin’ It Kool with Kool-Aid

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For generations, a cold pitcher of Kool-Aid fruit drink has been a sweet summer tradition. Invented in 1927 by Edwin Perkins and his wife, Kitty, the original powdered drink sold for a mere nickel a packet. Nearly a century later, the little packages haven’t changed much and are still a bargain — mix up a couple quarts, enough for the whole family, for a few dimes.

For many, Kool-Aid is a better alternative to sugary, caffeinated soft drinks (you only add enough sweetener of your choice to bring smiles to your little ones). And did you know you can also create some cool crafts with Kool-Aid? So while you’re chillin’ this season, here are five ways to keep your kids entertained with this colorful treat.

  1. Make and race Kool-Aid ice boats. Mix up some Kool-Aid and pour it in ice cube trays, small cups, or bowls. Add a stick or as straw for a sail, then when frozen, pop out the boat and add a paper sail. Create a water channel out of foil, or even easier, grab a length of rain gutter at your local building supply. Add water and go!
  2. Make pretty scented playdough. All you need is flour, salt, water, a little oil, and of course, packets of colored Kool-Aid. Not only is this playdough easy to make, it smells yummy too. Want to know how to mix up the colors? Here’s a
  3. Hand out crazy straw gifts at preschool or just for fun. At the end of swimming class or camp, hand out a little gift. Attach a package of Kool-Aid to a dollar-store crazy straw with the free printable “have a kool summer.”
  4. Ready for some summer science fun? Make some Rainbow Eruptions! Put a packet of Kool-Aid in a small container, and add one heaping spoonful of baking soda. You don’t need vinegar for this experiment since Kool-aid contains citric acid. If you want more intense color, add a couple drops of food coloring, too. Then take a squeeze bottle of water, add a few drops of water, and watch the fizzy foam erupt.
  5. Last but not least, be sure to snap some shots of your kids and their Kool-Aid mustache, and share yours on our Facebook page.

Will you be near Hastings, Nebraska, in August? Check out the annual Kool-Aid Days, a family friendly festival celebrating Nebraska’s “official soft drink.”