A cute alternative, particularly with a small group of kids like a preschool class, might be to make your own playdoh. It's simple to do, your kids can help, and it's inexpensive.
2 cups flour
2 cups water
1 cup salt
2 tbsp. oil
4 tsp. cream of tartar
Red food coloring
1. Combine flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a large saucepan.
2. Gradually stir in water mixed with oil and food coloring (I used about 1/4 tsp. red)
3. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until a ball forms. When it feels like your arm is going to fall off, you are almost there! It can be a little hard to stir at the end.
4. Remove from heat. This is the part where the kids will enjoy helping - have them knead the dough for 5 minutes. It's smooth and warm - so much fun!
5. Package in cute containers. This recipe makes enough for 10 small servings.
This post linked with Mommy Club Linkup at Milk and Cuddles.