Play-Dough Activities

Play-Dough is such a versatile material. It can teach anything from shapes ( using different cookie cutters), fine motor skills ( great place to introduce scissors), pretend play , measurement while making play-dough and more.  Here are some of our favorite play-dough activities we’ve done over the years.

Scented Play-Dough ( pictured above)

Button Search in Play-Dough

Play-Dough Cupcakes

Play-Dough Earths

Play-Dough Cutting

Play-Dough Sculpture

Need an easy well tested recipe for homemade play-dough?

Play-Dough Recipes

Flag Day and More !

Guest Post by Shannon
Today’s post is the first of many guest posts by talented bloggers, teachers and moms who have graciously offered their expertise while I prepare for the birth of my daughter . I will still be posting and commenting, returning emails ( as quickly as I can) and be around to answer questions but want to make sure that all of you still have fresh new activities to enjoy!  This post is from Shannon a former preschool teacher , curriculum writer and mom .
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We did some fun Flag activities last week since today is Flag day and 4th of July is coming up also. We had fun with the sensory activities and LOVED making painters tape flags. Plus by doing our flag activities earlier then we usually do they get to stay up longer for all to enjoy!

Red, Blue and White play dough: we used our favorite play dough recipe. We also added glitter to the white after they played with it the first time. The recipe is super simple: 1 cup water, 1 cup salt, 1 cup flour, 2 TBSP oil and coloring( for this i used sugar free jello! smells so yummy! but you can use food paste or coloring, kool aid or paint.) stir all the ingredients till smooth,cook on med heat till it pulls away from the

pan, cool for a bit, knead still smooth and play!

Red, White and Blue colored rice bin I added 4th of July confetti to it: To color the rice I divided a bag of rice equally into baggies, added red food coloring to 1, blue to 1 and let the other white (to that one i added the 4th of July sequins). Zipped up the baggies and let my 2 girls shake and knead the coloring into the rice. After they were all colored I laid them out onto wax paper to dry. added to our Rubbermaid container and both girls have had a blast playing with it ever since.

Painters Tape Flag:
Need:
white construction paper
painters tape
red paint
paint brush
blue construction paper square
4th if July confetti or star stickers
To Make:
Place painters tape strips on the construction paper.
Squirt Red paint down the center and let child paint the paper red, let dry before removing painters tape.
While the paint is drying let child glue or stick stars on their blue square.
After you remove the painters tape let them glue the blue square with stars on and let everything dry.
I hope you enjoyed some of the highlights from our flag week. If you would like the whole curriculum to do with your kids just go to my blogger profile page and click the email me link. It is filled with super fun, super easy activities using most supplies you already have around the house.
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Shannon blogs at  Welcome To Our Wonderland where she  share’s  books and sometimes activities to go with the children’s books. She taught prek for 11 years and become a stay at home mom 10 years ago when her oldest was born.

Fruity Scented Playdough

fruity scented playdough

Sensory activities are always a huge hit around here. My son loves exploring , squishing and the pretend play that always seems to accompany play dough play. Adding scents to your play dough simply makes something every day a little more novel and exciting.He played with this play dough forever. I originally only gave him half of each scent/color so we’d have some reserved for later, but then gave in. He was pretending to make and ice a cake on his own youtube video. It was hilarious and  great pretend play.

  1. Gather your materials.  Today we made Bisquick Playdough ( click  for the recipe) , I like this one because the playdough is very white and is easy to color. To make the play dough scented we used flavorings ( Banana, Strawberry and Cherry) and food coloring.  You can also use Kool-aid.  Also grab a few zip locks for adding the flavor and color to avoid stained hands.fruity scented playdough
  2. After kneading the dough per the recipe , separate the dough into one bag per scent/color. fruity scented playdough
  3. Add the coloring , close the bag and have your helper come help. He mixed it some but I did the majority of mixing, it takes some time.fruity scented playdough 005
  4. Chill the dough until cold. This makes it less sticky.fruity scented playdough
  5. Gather some fun tools to play with – I love cookie cutters and popscicle sticks.fruity scented playdough
  6. Smell see if your child can identify the scents. fruity scented playdough
  7. Play! fruity scented playdough
  8. One big happy smelly mess . fruity scented playdough

Books About Fruit

Raisin and Grape by Tom Amico and James Priomos is a hilarious and sweet book more about grandpas and grandsons then about grapes and raisins. The dry sarcastic humor will keep parents happy ( or if you aren’t into that you’ll hate the book) while the funky illustrations and simple text will keep your little ones interested. This is a great book for older children to read to younger siblings, the text is easy enough for novice readers and they will think it’s funny, especially the part about armpits! My son is so into his grandpas right now that this was a huge hit and I love that it can also be used to explain that raisins are dried grapes. Grab this , sit down with some grapes and have fun!

Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert is an alphabet book extraordinaire! Wonderful paintings of fruits and vegetables seem ultra simple and it is but somehow the way the author has pieced this simple book together is brilliant. Maybe it’s that children learn about food at the table multiple times a day and feel proud being able to identify not only some of the letters but some of the pictures too! From a teaching standpoint I love that there are both upper and lower case letters on each page! This book will grow with your child, and beware it will also make you
hungry!

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey and Ron Wood is a fantastic book that children adore! The story not only unique in that the narrator speaks directly to the mouse , it’s illustrations will enchant your child’s imagination and make the most overtired parent smile. The little mouse is trying to keep the strawberry away from the bear, and his adorable attempts to hide it make my son laugh every time! Great book!

Playdough Earth

playdoh earth
This post from contributing writer Katy is great  for toddlers and preschoolers of any ability but especially geared towards children who are resistant to textures, either because of having special needs or simply being resistant to new sensations. Having a purpose to make something like the earth makes an exercise in textures more authentic instead of simply touching something squishy. I love it!
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Before I do any craft with Charlie, I get all of my supplies ready to go. For this project I rolled three large balls of blue craft clay and then several small balls of green craft clay.Play-doh Earths
I placed a ball of blue clay in Charlie hands and then took a piece of green and helped him smash it into the blue. play-doh earth
We did this several times for each ball creating something that looks a lot like Earth.play doh earth
Charlie, like many kids with special needs, can be resistant to new textures.  He did not like the feel of the clay, but we kept at it for a as long as we could. I had wanted to create a total of four Earths, but we stopped at three in order to prevent a meltdown.  It’s good to push your child, but not so far that they become resistant to all new activities.
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Katy is a mom of one who loves art, mystery novels, and anything involving peanut butter–she blogs about raising her little miracle at Bird on the Street.

Valentine’s Day Playdough Cupcakes

valentine's day playdough activityWe love cupcakes, but who wants 24 cupcakes when only 2 people in your house will be eating them( which means 22 for me and 2 for my son … not good). So instead of baking them we decided to play with them. This pretend play incorporates sensory, learning shapes, and color mixing too. Not to mention it was really fun!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some red and white playdough, some fun cupcake liners, cake picks ( is that what they are called?), a cutting board and heart cookie cutters.  You can also add sprinkles, fancy plates and muffin tins!Valentine's Cupcakes
  2. Start by mixing some of the red and while to make pink playdough. Normally I make my own playdough but I wanted this color mixing lesson as part of the play, so I bought white and red dough, it’s hard to make true white playdough at home. If you want to make your own here are my favorite recipes.Valentine's Cupcakes
  3. Let em at it! My son kneaded the dough ” I squish it until it’s yummy!”Valentine's Cupcakes
  4. We rolled it into balls and popped it in a liner.Valentine's Cupcake
  5. Made hearts for the top – I did one to show him all the options while  and he ran with it.Valentine's cupcakes
  6. Don’t forget a pick!Valentine's Cupcakes
  7. Keep playing- this cupcake cost me $38 dollars! Good thing the playdough , liners and pics together only cost $3.99!Valentine Bakery
  8. There is no right or wrong way to play – just explore, have fun and remember to keep playdough far away from carpet, it’s such a pain to get out. Valentine Bakery 007

Book

Mr. Cookie Baker was an instant hit at our house. The book is about who else, Mr. Cookie Baker and it shows the reader how he makes cookies from scratch, ices them and sells them. It’s a great book to explain baking and bakeries. My son loves the part where Mr. Cookie Baker eats a cookie after a long hard day and then says goodnight. I like the illustrations, they are bold and detailed without being cluttered and can almost tell the story all by themselves. Be warned though reading this will almost definitely make you crave a cookie or two.