20+ Hands-On Learning Ideas Using Playdough

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Playdough is a wonderful way to teach your toddler. Apart from it being a lovely sensory activity, which young kids love, it’s also a useful tool in teaching young kids in a way that involves role play, imagination and creativity.

20+ Playful Learning Ideas With Playdough

Learning with Playdough

Alphabets and Numbers:

Making all types of letters and numbers out of playdough is a fun, creative way to help your child learn the basics of Maths and English. Teachers have had great success teaching the alphabet, as well as addition and subtraction, using playdough.

Shapes:

Children can learn about all the different types of shapes using playdough to create them.

Colors:

Children learn their colors by slowly recognising them, as well as their names, and then begin to memorize them. Using playdough to learn about colors gives kids a hands on, sensory experience which naturally helps them learn their colors in many different ways.

Playdough gives you the opportunity to learn in a lot of different, fun ways and we all know how important learning through play is!

Playdough Activities For Playing And Learning

20+ Ideas To Learn Using Playdough

Take a look at my top 20+ ways to learn using playdough!

Practice counting to ten with playdough on these printable laminatable dot counting sheets.

Explore numbers using playdough, and number stamps, cookie cutters, magnetic numbers and more. A great hands on way to learn numbers using many different types of tools.

Try this fine motor alphabet activity using playdough, cookie cutter and beads. A clever way to work on prewriting skills.

This number smash game will have your kids learning to count and match numbers with playdough balls.

Make a hard home-made playdough puzzle and let your little one learn about shape recognition. They can help with making it too!

Use Dr Seuss’s Ten Apple Up On Top book and make this personalised hands on activity, making apples with playdough.

Make this clever counting activity with playdough, and help your child learn to count using playdough balls and counting rings.

Learn to count and write numbers using these printable number word playdough mats with tracing.

Name initial sounds with this playdough cutting activity, and make shapes from playdough that go with pre-cut starting letters.

Print these free apple play dough mats and your child can learn to count while placing apples on each tree.

Learn all about human anatomy using playdough to make each organ in the body. A clever way to create body awareness!

Addition is easy to learn when you use playdough food to count with! Try this fun activity and make sums and count food playdough pieces.

Learn about toy animal tracks by playing this mysterious animal traces game, and have your child guess which animal made the tracks on the playdough.

Count while having fun putting petals on numbered playdough flowers in this cute activity idea.

Use playdough to teach your child to spell their name. A cute hands on activity to learn letter and name recognition.

Have fun with playdough and letter stamps and learn to recognise and practice making words.

Preschoolers will love these free printable playdough shape mats. They’re colorful and will give your child hours of learning fun. Put it in a pretty box for reuse too!

Write a little differently using some long sticks as pens, and make some playdough writing trays to practice writing letters and words on!

Shape playdough mats are a fun way to learn how to draw and write your shapes, while using pens and playdough.

Print these free tree playdough counting mats and learn to count to ten while having fun with playdough apples!

Improve your child’s scissor skills using playdough with this clever finger-working activity!

Make some nature stampers using seeds and pods from your garden, and have some sensory fun rolling your nature stampers in playdough for some pretty patterns!

Have some bug fun with a playdough sensory bin bug activity, and make some bug prints in your playdough.

Practice your child’s hand eye coordination with this hammer and tees playdough activity. A great way to smack some tees while learning how to grip and hammer straight.

Print these free playdough shape mats and have fun learning how to draw, write and create shapes using playdough!

How do you use playdough in your home to teach your child? I’d love to see some of your creative ideas!

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Chocolate Oat Cookies turned Edible Play Dough

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Welcome to month 3 of the sensory dough series! Month 1 we made taste safe foam dough and for month 2 you can learn how to make cloud dough.

For our experiment for edible playdough this month I used a no bake chocolate oat and peanut butter cookie recipe and left out an extra bit of oats to make it more manageable.

Chocolate Oat Cookies turned Edible Play Dough

choclate oat balls

Chocolate Oat & peanut butter cookie recipe:

This is the original recipe for the cookies

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 cups oats

Boil sugar, cocoa, butter and milk for 1 min. remove from heat. Add peanut butter, vanilla and oats and stir till mixed. Empty out on waxpaper, roll and cut into squares or roll into balls when cool enough to handle.

For this edible play dough I left out half a cup of oats. Because of the oiliness of the butter and peanut butter the play dough does not stick to the hands.

My 4 year old decided that this chocolate play dough looked like mud and as such he grabbed some cars to play “stuck in the mud” with.

Chocolate Oat Cookies turned Edible Play Dough stuck in the mud

Some construction vehicles were needed to get the cars unstuck as well.Edible Play Dough construction

We also got the opportunity to play with our spring garden printable from Pickle bums that I had printed for the kids with a bunch of other printables for toddlers.
Chocolate Oat Cookies turned Edible Play Dough

I think this one turned out great! The kids were nibbling on the play dough while playing too 😀

Looking for more edible playdough ideas? Check out what our co-hosts have been up to!

Meet my co-hosts:sensory dough series

Please read the following guidelines before linking up.

  • Share family-friendly posts related to the month’s theme. Feel free to link old or new posts that highlight your favorite recipes for sensory dough. Failures and unsuccessful attempts are welcome.
  • We ask that no posts are linked with copy/paste recipes from other sources. If you use a recipe from another source, please link back to the original recipe.
  • By linking up, you give permission to share your post and one photograph in future posts and through social media channels.
  • Visit 2-3 other posts that others have shared. Discover new ideas and meet new friends!

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The Ultimate Collection of Play Dough

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Welcome to our contribution to the Ultimate guide to 50 Craft Materials hosted by Craftulate!

The Ultimate Collection of Play Dough

The Ultimate Collection of Play Dough

Play dough is something every youngster should explore. It teaches and nurtures so many skills and developmental stages and it is just so much fun to play with!

Recipes to make play dough

  1. Our very own homemade play dough recipe plus tools for play
  2. Best Ever No-Cook Play Dough Recipe from The Imagination Tree
  3. Silky soft no-cook play dough from Kids Activities Blog
  4. Edible Gluten Free No Cook Playdough from Fun at home with kids
  5. Cornstarch and Glue Play Dough from Inspiration Laboratories
  6. Lemony Play Dough from Mamma Pappa Bubba
  7. Super Simple No-Cook Chocolate Play Dough from Mamma Pappa Bubba
  8. Pumpkin Spice Playdough from Small + Friendly
  9. Easy No-Cook Lemon and Eucalyptus Play Dough from One Perfect Day
  10. Scented Playdough–Cinnamon Spice! from Not Just Cute
  11. Cotton Candy Playdough from Mama Miss
  12. Paper Play Dough from Blog Me Mom
  13. Pomegranate Playdough from My Nearest and Dearest

Awesome Play Ideas for Play Dough

  1. The benefits of playing with play dough from The Imagination Tree
  2. People Play Dough Mats – Free Printable! from Pickle Bums
  3. Use your play dough to do a gender reveal for older siblings from I can Teach my Child
  4. Make Playdough Animals from No Time for Flash Cards
  5. Erupting Playdough from Mess for Less
  6. Invitation to Play: Fall Play Dough with Tree Block Stamps from Two da Loo

Here are just a few ideas from this blog.

We invite you to to discover new and even old ways to play and have fun with play dough below! Bloggers please link up your own play dough related posts below, we love to see what you create.

the ultimate guide to 50 craft materials

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Homemade Playdough Recipe plus Tools for Play

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My kids love their playdough, my only problem with store bought playdough besides it being a bit pricey here by us is that my kids want to occasionally taste it! This scares me because I really don’t know what is in it and I am sure it is not taste safe. This is why I prefer to make my own homemade playdough recipes.

Lets just be clear, this one is made with salt and does NOT taste nice and should not be eaten! So if your child is eating things you will want to try an Edible Homemade Playdough Recipe rather. This one is safe to taste, as in child takes a small bite. Eating this playdough will make your child sick and he will most likely vomit it up because of the salt content.

This is our homemade playdough recipe

Homemade playdough recipe plus tools for play

Homemade Playdough Recipe.

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • Food coloring
  • optional extras: glitter

Add the water, salt and vegetable oil to a pot over medium heat. Use a hand whisk to stir in the cream of tartar and flour. The whisk prevents flour clumps from forming.

Switch the whisk to a wooden spoon as soon as the mixture starts to get thicker and turn the heat to low. Continue stirring.

(We also have a No-Cook Homemade Playdough Recipe)

long lasting playdough recipe

Once the play dough starts to get dry on the edges and you are able to pinch the dough without it sticking to your fingers it is ready. Free Homemade Playdough Recipe

Scoop the dough out onto a heat resist surface and leave to cool.

Once the dough is cool enough to handle, roll into a ball and cut as many wedges as you want colors.
Cooked Homemade Playdough Recipe

Make a little well in the homemade playdough recipe and fold the dough in on itself until the coloring is distributed. Then simply roll and knead it to work the color in more.Homemade Playdough Recipe

Download your free printable by clicking here

This homemade playdough recipe is my favorite, it is soft and doesn’t stick to the kids fingers with simple play. It is so nice my 3 year old rubs little bits on his cheek while playing with it!The Best Homemade Playdough Recipe

The only thing left to do is get your playdough tools out and play!Expand Playdough play with other Toys shapes

Did you know that you can use a garlic press to make little strands of playdough? Just the pressing bit makes my 4 year old happy!

garlic press for playdough play

Stamping is one of my toddlers favorite things to do with homemade playdough.playdough shape tools

Tools for your homemade playdough recipe

Besides using everyday items and extending with other toys we have to play with playdough, we love these tools.
      
      
      

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Loose Parts & Playdough

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Welcome to our second week of #simpleplay! This activity is apart of our 20 days of simple play ideas collection, see all 20 here!

Last week we did water play, ice play, painting, built a den and played with glue.

This weeks prompts are loose parts, small world, treasure hunt, nature walk and some playdough play.

All these lovely topics ideas are hosted by Nurture Store.

I had to actually ask a friend what was meant by loose parts for today’s prompt and then later discovered Nurture Store even has a printable! So do check out her printable for free play with loose parts to get even further inspiration.

Loose parts from our craft supplies!

lets play with loose parts

On a rather unprepared day I managed to pull a few rouge craft supplies together to make this little loose parts exploration happen.

Loose parts & playdough selection contains

*These started items were provided to us free by craftprojectideas.com

homemade playdough recipe and play

Let the fun begin!

Here we have my 4 year olds playdough monster.
monster playdough

Mommy played a bit with googly eyes on the butterfly then the kids went a bit sprinkle mad.making a butterflyloose parts butterfly

My 18 month old LOVES to sprinkle color rice!sprinkling color rice

Not a bad little creation she had going here.imaginative play

She even got the eyes on, stuck some pasta on and sprinkled much rice on her’s and both her brothers creations.
loose parts play googly eyes

All 3 little busy bees.kids love playdough free play

Other playdough play ideas we have explored:

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Dinosaur Weekend with Playdough and More

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It’s been a rainy weekend here by us in Ecuador which means indoor time, which in turn my boys are very “wild” with energy!

My 4 year old has been asking to watch “dinosaur train” and “peppa pig” lately, mostly peppa pig goes on because the 3 year old will also watch it (while I make lunch) so there has been a lot of dinosaur talk from the boys lately.

If you are not familiar with Peppa pig her little brother George is dinosaur mad.

What better way to spend our Sunday than checking out everything dinosaur related!!

We luckily have a few dinosaur related things around the house already such as the plastic animals, puzzles and a few books.

Dinosaur Weekend with Playdough and More

To create this dinosaur playdough activity you will need:

Plastic animals, playdough and some eager kids!

We use our homemade playdough recipe for almost all things playdough related. This time I also added a little blue glitter to the mix for the odd sparkle.Dinosaur Weekend with Playdough and More

I rolled a few balls of playdough and flattened them with the palm of my hand for the boys to explore the dinosaur prints and shapes they made.Dinosaur Weekend with Playdough and More

We also made impressions with the entire dinosaur in the playdough which gave a ruff and textured surface which my 3 year old loved to feel.Dinosaur Weekend with Playdough and More

Much fun happening on the craft table with my boys.Dinosaur Weekend with Playdough and More

More Dinosaur resources that we enjoy include:

Dinosaur Books


Dinosaur Puzzles



Dinosaur Toys




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A Very Hungry Caterpillar Activity: Caterpillar to Butterfly with Play Dough

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This week we are all about The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

A few days ago we made some homemade play dough, which today we were very happy to turn into a caterpillar which then “turned” into a butterfly!

A very hungry caterpillar activity Caterpillar to Butterfly with play dough For this little craft you will need some play dough (grab our homemade playdough recipe here) and some kids! We also got our extremely well used The Very Hungry Caterpillar book out for color reference 🙂

While making the caterpillar we talked about how it was an egg and now a very hungry caterpillar that ate all the food! I also asked the boys what was their favorite food to eat, which resulted in the “berries” being pointed at with exclamations about the hole in said strawberry.
A very hungry caterpillar activity Caterpillar to Butterfly with play dough

For the body of our caterpillar we rolled little balls and flattened a bit to get the “look”. My 2 year old however, was more interested in dissecting the caterpillar than making it.A very hungry caterpillar activity Caterpillar to Butterfly with play dough We used the rest of the play dough to make a pretty butterfly, once again I talked about how the very full caterpillar made a cocoon and then changed into a butterfly. My 4 year old enjoyed adding all the little color rolled balls.A very hungry caterpillar activity Caterpillar to Butterfly with play dough The 2 year old had finished with his dissecting and came around to appreciate the pretty butterfly. It lasted about 30 minutes before he took it apart and packed the now mixed play dough into the containers for storage.A very hungry caterpillar activity Caterpillar to Butterfly with play dough

 

We had fun making the caterpillar and butterfly as well as talking about the life cycle and all the foods that were eaten 🙂

Do your little ones love the very hungry caterpillar book too?

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How to Make your own Playdough

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Playdough, something most of us played with as kids.

We rolled it, flatten it, pinched it and formed it into many shapes and imaginative creatures.

Today I would love to share a Playdough Recipe or two.

Playdough is most definitely one of my favorite activities to do with the boys and I hope soon our newest edition, just as soon as she stops eating EVERY thing in sight! We do so love to use our own playdough recipe.

How to Make Playdough Recipe

The first is for a rather large batch, great for a large party activity or play date. You can always split the dough up and make multiple colors. It also depends on your preference for texture.

Homemade Playdough Recipe 1

Play dough with oil

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 3 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 4 table spoons oil
  • 1 and half cups water (warm / hot)
  • food coloring

Mix up the liquids and then add the dry.

Uncooked Playdough Recipe 2

  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • food coloring

Mix up the liquids and add the dry.

I have been told using a few drops glycerine adds a shine.

I also know my mother in law adds some essential oils to her play dough, I will ask her for the recipes next time I see her and post scented playdough recipes soon!

Update: Check out my new favorite homemade playdough recipe!

How to Make your own Play DoughMy 2 and half year old is fascinated by flour, rice and pasta, basically anything he can sift his hands through or carry off in large masses.

For the making of this Playdough Recipe I mixed up a batch, minus a bit of flour, so the food coloring wouldn’t stain, then took it to the craft table for kids to help me kneed the dough and add more flour until we got the texture ready to play with. The 2 year old had the flour handled and the 4 year old had the kneading down.

Easy Playdough Recipe Once ready and firm, it was play time! We did the classic rolling, cutting with shapes, more rolling. 🙂How to Make your own Play Dough - No-Cook Play Dough Recipe

What all have we made with play dough?

 

What do you like to do with your play dough?

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Easter Bunnies Play Dough Crafts for Toddlers

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This week, in anticipation for Easter coming up, we practiced making bunnies out of play dough, and what fun we had! I don’t know any toddlers who don’t adore playing with play dough and some cookie cutters and a rolling pin!

PicMonkey Bunny Collage

We are counting down to easter, when the Easter Bunny will magically arrive and hide chocolate eggs all around our garden. We’re in the process of making baskets to collect the eggs in, so exciting!

If your littlies love playdough, why not make some easter bunnies, with whiskers, cotton wool tails, and anything else you fancy, for a bit of creativity! This was our Easter Bunny – making session:

Photo 2013-03-07 10 00 30 AM

Photo 2013-03-07 10 21 16 AMThis was my 4 year old’s version of the Easter Bunny! Got to make you smile lol!

Photo 2013-03-07 10 27 03 AM

What Easter crafts do you have planned to make with your little ones? 🙂 We’d love to hear your ideas! 

Check out some more in our fab Easter Collection!

  1. Easter bunnies ~ Play Dough Crafts For Toddlers
  2. Paper Mache Bowl Craft
  3. How to Make Salt Dough Easter Eggs
  4. Cute Easter Bunny a Free Printable Coloring Page
  5. Easter Craft – Paper Cup Bunny Puppet
  6. Hide and Squeak Eggs Sorting Fun Toy Review
  7. How To Dye Egg Shells For Kids Crafts
  8. Sand Art – Creative Easter Egg Craft
  9. Easter Egg Shell Craft
  10. 25 Awesome Pins for Easter 2013 – Inspiration Collection 
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