25+ Playdough Activities for Preschoolers That Spark Joy & Creativity! 

Most parents 👪 will agree that playdough is an incredible tool for educating and entertaining young children. 

With its limitless possibilities and tactile allure, playdough has helped me strengthen my children’s motor skills, hand-eye coordination, number recognition, and letter recognition. 

As you continue reading this article, you’ll realize that playdough offers several invaluable developmental benefits. 

Interesting playdough activities for preschoolers 

Teach your children valuable life skills like how to hold a knife🍴and fork, how to floss their teeth, and how to write with playdough. 

In this article, I have listed twenty-something easy-to-do activities that will inculcate several life skills and teach them new words using playdough. Hopefully, your kids will enjoy taking part in these activities. 

Benefits of Playing with Playdough For Preschoolers 

Have you ever wondered why your children’s preschool teachers make them play with playdoughs and why playdoughs are so popular in toy shops? 

This is because research indicates that playing with playdough is incredibly beneficial for our children’s mental and physical development. Some of the benefits of playing with playdough are- 

  • Develops fine motor skills- While playing with playdough, children mold the dough into different shapes to create stuff from their imagination and items from real life. This exercise helps develop their muscles, improve their motor skills, and even strengthen their spatial awareness and observation skills.
  • Alleviates stress and calms down children- Playing with play dough is a great way to reduce tension and stress in your children. Pulling and pushing the dough also improves focus and helps your child express their emotions properly. 
  • Improves social skills- When a bunch of children are playing with a playdough set, they have to share different colored doughs and other tools with each other. 
  • By asking children to collaborate with each other on a project, you promote discussions, which helps children with their social skills. 
  • Fosters Creativity- Playdough is an excellent canvas for children to express their emotions and create unique creatures from their imagination. Playing with playdough gives our children an opportunity to look within for inspiration. It is also an excellent way to improve their hand-eye coordination. 

Roll The Playdough Into a Snake

After you introduce playdough to your children, I recommend that the first activity you do with it is to flatten the playdough with a rolling pin and then roll it into a snake. 

Starting off with this activity develops your child’s hand-eye coordination and improves their awareness of their body. 

As they roll the flat playdough, they’ll understand how to use their hands to manipulate the dough, encouraging symmetrical use. 

Playdough Construction Sites 

Recently, when I took my kids to the supermarket, their eyes fell on a new toy that aimed to teach children construction. 

It came with a toy hammer ⚒️, wooden planks, plastic nails, a ladder, and other construction tools. My kids had a great time playing with their construction set. 

But I obviously had to put a little spin on it for it to be an enriching playtime for them. So, I asked them to use the playdough as cement for the house they were building. The kids then challenged each other to see who could make the best house. 

Color Mixing Playdough Activity 

Drawing and painting are vital to children’s educational and recreational activities. 

This is because, at this stage of their development, their spatial awareness develops at a faster rate than their speaking abilities. Therefore, playing with color helps them to identify things easily. 

Aside from crayons and paints, playdough is an excellent tool to develop this sense. They’ll also realize that they can create new colors as they mix playdoughs of different colors. 

You can also ask them to identify what color they were able to create by mixing primary colors like green, yellow, and red with each other. Thus introducing them to the topic of color mixing. 

Bottle Caps and Lollipop Sticks Playdough Challenge 

Challenge your kids to make a structured creation using old bottle caps and used lollipop 🍭sticks. Give your children 30 minutes to create a unique structure. 

You can also challenge them to make the tallest or largest structure. This is another wonderful way to develop your child’s fine motor and lateral thinking skills. 

At-Home Playdough Recipe 

Children can be nasty sometimes. When my daughter reached the crawling stage, no sock 🧦 in our house was safe. Therefore, it is safe to assume that I was worried about her ingesting store-bought playdough. 

What you need- 

Flour, salt, cooking oil, lemon juice, and food coloring. 

Steps- 

  • Mix 1 cup of flour with a quarter of a cup of salt, three-quarters of a cup of boiling water, three tablespoons of lemon 🍋juice, and one tablespoon of cooking oil in a large mixing bowl. 
  • Mix everything with a wooden spoon until it forms a ball. Then, use your hands to knead the dough until the dough is no longer sticky. 
  • Divide the dough into four equal portions. Add different food coloring to each portion and mix until well incorporated. Repeat the process with a new dough to make other doughs of different colors. 
  • It is ready to play with after the play dough has enough time to cool down.

Pro tip- 

You can use extracts like vanilla or butterscotch to make the play dough smell nice. 

Playdough Sea Shells 

After a day of collecting sea shells 🐚 on our beach trip, my kids looked through their treasure and observed that some shells looked different than others. I then asked them to make copies of their favorite shells 🐚 with playdough and toothpicks. 

Forest Floor Sensory Box With Play Dough 

A sensory box is a wonderful and playful way to engage your child in an activity where they have to recreate different places, items, and seasons in a box using household items. 

Ask your children to collect items from the park or their backyard, which are also found on the forest floor. 

Then, ask them to recreate a first floor inside an old shoebox or plastic container with these items and playdough. This activity aims to employ your children’s observational skills and memory.  

Playdough Pizza 

Playing house is a widespread activity that most children participate in. It is mesmerizing to see how perceptive children can be and how much they notice their parents and other adults around them. 

I have also noticed how often my kids, in these scenarios, serve each other pizza 🍕(because that is their favorite food). 

They use the yellow playdough for the base, the red playdough for the sauce, and cotton balls for cheese. If you play house with your children, you should also ask them to make their favorite meal with playdough. 

Teach Your Children The Importance of Flossing Teeth with Playdough

Flossing is an essential aspect of dental hygiene 🪥. It is imperative that you inculcate this habit in your children from a young age. 

What you need- 

A mega block, playdough, and dental floss. 

Steps- 

  • Fill the gaps in between the mega block with playdough of any color. 
  • Give your child a piece of floss and ask them to remove the play dough from the gaps using just floss. 

In this scenario, the mega block is our teeth, and the playdough is the food that gets stuck in our teeth. As your child uses the floss to remove the playdough, correct their technique and tell them why it is important for them to floss daily. 

Parts of An Apple Playdough Activity 

Ask your child what the inside of an apple 🍎 looks like and show it with playdough. As your child makes their apple, you can educate them on the different parts like seeds, flesh, apple core, stem, leaves, and apple peel. 

This activity aims to develop your child’s motor and observational skills, introducing them to new words like stem, peel, seeds, etc. You can do this exercise with other fruits like pumpkin, watermelon 🍉, melon, or banana. 

Layers of The Earth With Playdough 

Teach your children about the different layers of the Earth 🌎 by making a 3D model of the Earth’s crust using playdough. 

Simplify the language so that a preschooler can understand what is being taught. 

Playdough Dress Up 

My children love playing with their dolls 🎎 and action figurines. Recently, while my children were playing, I asked them if they’d like to be a part of a fashion show with their dolls as models. 

They had 30 minutes to create a unique dress for three dolls using only playdough. The children loved this challenge and had a blast coming up with their dresses. 

Grow A Garden With Playdough

This exercise is an excellent way for your children to learn how to sort colors while developing their focus and fine motor skills. 

Click a photo of a flowering plant 🪴in your garden and ask your child to recreate the image with playdough.  

Playdough Cake 

What would your child’s dream cake 🎂 look like? I asked my children to create their dream cake using playdough and other arts and crafts supplies. The results were adorable.  

Learn How To Use Scissors With Playdough 

Holding a pair of scissors ✂️ and using them to carefully cut the object in front of you is an important life skill that constantly comes in handy. 

Show your kids how to cut a straight line, a circle, or a triangle with scissors on a playdough. Since playdough can be reformed, your kids can practice this skill until it is perfected. 

Flatten the playdough into a thin sheet or roll it into a log, and show your kids how to use a pair of scissors ✂️ safely and without hurting themselves. 

You should also teach them common courtesy while using a pair of scissors, like always passing the handle first. 

Playdough Treasure Hunt 

Hide innocuous items like marbles, fake coins, and buttons inside playdough and ask your preschooler to find them all with their eyes closed. This activity and other kids’ scavenger hunts help your children develop their tactile senses and fine motor skills. 

The development of tactile senses is significant because it brings your child a step closer to picking up a pencil or using a pair of scissors. 

Rainbow Playdough 

As your children learn about different colors in the rainbow 🌈, ask them to make a rainbow from playdough. This is undoubtedly one of the best activities that your kids will absolutely adore.

Letter Writing Playdough Exercise 

Hand your child a sheet of paper with the uppercase and lowercase letters written on them. Ask them to use the playdough to write the letters as they say each alphabet out loud. 

This exercise will help your child identify each letter 🔤, whether in uppercase or lowercase. You can also ask them to repeat this exercise with numbers to improve their number recognition skills. 

Self-Portraits With Playdough 

Teach your children different emotions with playdough. Ask your child to make a portrait of themselves smiling with playdough. 

Repeat the exercise with other emotions like anger, sadness, and excitement. It is essential to educate our children about different emotions 😁 because it can be hard for them to grasp an abstract concept like emotions. 

Build An Erupting Volcano 

Help your child build a model of an erupting volcano 🌋using playdough. While doing this, explain to them what a volcano is and what volcanic eruptions look like. You can even show them videos of active volcanoes around the world. 

Word Writing Exercise 

Playdough is a wonderful canvas to work on your child’s writing abilities and dexterity. Roll out a piece of dough and hand your child an unsharpened pencil; give them a flashcard with a two or 3-letter word 🔤 written on it, and ask them to write it on the play dough. Repeat the exercise with multiple words. 

Playdough Faberge Eggs 

Show your kids what a Faberge egg looks like, and then ask them to decorate their own playdough egg 🥚 with different arts and crafts supplies and glitter. 

Pro tip- 

This craft can also be done with wooden eggs 🥚, plastic easter eggs, or molding clay. 

How to Use Utensils to Eat Meals With Playdough

Teach your child how to use a knife and fork to eat their meals once they are able to use a pencil ✏️properly. To teach your kids, ask your child to use a fork to cut a piece of playdough and pick it up. 

Then, show them how to cut the play dough with a knife. You can also show your kids how to safely use other kitchen utensils like a pair of tongs, a masher, or a box cutter with playdough. 

Playdough Scary Monster Activity 

Ask your child to make the scariest-looking monster with playdough. My children made the wildest-looking monsters 👹 ever. 

After they finished this exercise, I urged them to draw a story (since they couldn’t write), which included the monsters and how they terrorized people. 

3D Playdough Shapes 

Around preschool, most kids have a good grasp of the concept of shape ◼️. When you think that they understand shapes properly, level up and teach them about 3D shapes with the help of playdough. 

Start off by making a sphere with play dough. Then, make a cube 🧊 or a prism using popsicle sticks and playdough. After this, you can even ask your child to make their dream house using popsicle sticks and playdough. 

Playdough Vegetable Market 

Encourage your kids to make a basket of vegetables 🫛 using playdough. This exercise aims to teach your children new words, engage their tactile senses, and develop their color recognition skills. 

Repeat the same exercise the next day with fruits instead of vegetables 🫛. 

Animals in a Zoo With Playdough 

Help your children identify different animals with these animals 🫎 in a zoo activity. 

Download pictures of zoo animals or buy small animal figurines and use them in this exercise to make several playdough animals. 

Playdough Cookies 

Playing with a cookie 🍪 cutter and making impressions in the playdough will teach your children about pressure and force. 

For instance, when they press on the playdough lightly, the cookie cutter makes a small dent in the shape of the cookie 🍪cutter. But when they apply more pressure, it cuts the playdough. 

This is a helpful lesson as it teaches our children about adjusting the force they apply on their pencil or crayon, etc. 

Make a Meal With Playdough 

Help your child identify different types of food items in a meal with this playdough activity. 

Start off by asking your child to make a plate of their favorite meal 🍝, like a burger, hotdog, or pizza 🍕. 

You can then ask them to make a balanced meal or their idea of a 5-star meal. 

Conclusion 

Playdough is an essential item in every child’s toy bucket 🪣. It has proven its importance by giving children a tangible way to unleash their creativity and imagination into the world 🌍. 

By squishing, rolling, and molding the dough, our preschoolers are able to refine their motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and tactile senses. Playdough has limitless possibilities and can be used in a number of lessons for our children. 

Hopefully, this blog was helpful. In the comments below, let us know which activity came in handy. 

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