21 Playdough Activities

preschool playdough ideasPlaying with playdough is our go to activity. We add bugs, googly eyes, buttons… use cookie cutters, scissors, even a garlic press while playing. Playdough is wonderful for fine motor development and creative play. I like it because it’s relaxing! Here are 21 playdough activities perfect for your preschooler.

 

Recipes for homemade playdough and my favorite Gluten Free Playdough

Playdough Sculptures
Playdough Bug Fossils
Footprints In The Snow – Winter Playdough
Learn The ABCs with Playdough

toy prints playdough
Playdough Lego Prints
Fill In The Blank Spelling With Playdough
Playdough Battleground
Playdough Bakery Pretend Play

playdough animals
Embellished Playdough Animals
Explore Emotions with Mr. Playdough Face
Fruity Scented Playdough
Digging for Buttons in Playdough

alphabet for starters
Alphabet Playdough
Playdough Kabobs – Fine Motor Fun
Silly Hair – Playdough Play
Playdough Bugs
Drinking Straws + Playdough

playdough rainbows counting, sorting , matching
Playdough Rainbow – Color Sorting
Slicing Watermelon Playdough
Practicing Cutting With Playdough
Playdough Earth

 

Play Dough Bug Sculptures

If you follow us on Twitter or Facebook you may have heard we are prepping to sell our house, this is possibly the least fun adventure I have ever had and I once ended up in Belgium by accident at 5am… long story. I have to keep the house spic and span while we are selling so get ready for some low on mess but high on fun activities like these play dough bugs . If you want to make your own play dough we have recipes even a gluten free play dough recipe!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some play dough in a few colors, some large googley eyes, pipe cleaners, straws and other things you might have on hand like tooth pics, popscicle sticks, buttons… no rules ! Also to protect my table I use an old cutting board as the work space.
  2. Sometimes kids need a guide when they are given a buffet to create with , sometimes they don’t. So I sat down and made this bug as an example of what he could use the materials to make not what he should make , explaining that there was no wrong way to create.
  3. Start creating!
  4. Hard at work
  5. A trio of bugs!

Bug Hunt

Get outside and turn over rocks to find creepy crawly bugs. On our bug hunt we kept count to add some math to our outside learning.

A Few Favorite Books About Bugs


Ace Lacewing: Bug Detectiveby David Bierdrzycki is such a fun read, I started it thinking it would go over my son’s head but he sat listening the whole time. The mystery begins with a missing Queen bee and will have you guessing who is behind her disappearance as Ace tries to solve it. There was a lot of humor that was lost on my then 2 year old but the fun Dick Tracy like illustrations kept him happy while I snickered at the jokes he missed. Very fun read for kids that aren’t yet ready for a chapter book but outgrowing pictures ones.

Bob and Otto by Robert O. Bruel is a lovely story about 2 friends who must part ways , in this case because one is a caterpillar who needs to build a chrysalis and the other an earth worm who needs to dig deep into the ground. What I like about this book is that it goes on to explain that the earth worm’s digging is vital for the trees to grow so that the caterpillar can eat the leaves and turn into a butterfly. I like the lesson about how we all play a part!

The Very Quiet Cricket

The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle is another favorite the story is all about a little cricket who is trying and trying to chirp like the others to talk to all the bugs talking to him but he can’t! Whenever I read it to children ( and it was a classroom favorite too) I would wiggle my shoulders like I was trying to rub my wings together just like the cricket. Kids latched on to that and I loved seeing them so engaged by the repetitive but never boring book. I thought seeing 12 little 3 year olds wiggling was precious but one little 3 year old is pretty cute doing it too! Of course there is a “surprise” at the end that toddlers and preschoolers alike will love.

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