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15 Ways to Use PlayDough For Learning and Play

Do you like playdough? Do your kids?

Most of us have play dough in the house or perhaps like to make our own. We like using playdough for learning and play. Adding a sensory element to learning is a great way to make it fun.

Life feels a bit much at the moment, right? The world feels so big and uncertain and yet our immediate worlds are dramatically decreasing. Though we feel safer within our homes, being self-contained with kids 24/7 for the foreseeable future also feels overwhelming and that the walls are closing in. There are a lot of confusing emotions. 

I spoke to my own mother on FaceTime, who lives internationally halfway across the world and who will be quarantined there until the end of June. She reminded me that as a family, we got through a self-contained quarantine of 4.5 months during the Kuwait occupation of 1990.

We didn’t leave our high-story building for 4.5 months. I was a toddler and my brother was 4 or 5. Reminiscing she said that routine had been paramount. Every day there was a strict routine that involved lessons, imaginative play, secure roof water play, exercise on our bikes around a circular inside balcony, tv time and time with each parent separately. Most importantly, we got through it – and so can you!

The schools in the UK have not been closed yet (at the time of writing) but like many mothers, I am preparing for the inevitable.

Yes, it is going to be a really long and tough road. But being self-contained with kids is doable if you have and stick to a routine. Using playdough for learning and play is an easy way to make home studying fun.

With that in mind, I have put together a list of 15 Ways to use play dough with your kids at home during this time of self-containment.

Use what you have; if you don’t have some of the items on here, be imaginative and replace them where you can. This list has been done to include activities for children around 2- 6 years of age. 


1) STEM Pipe Cleaner 3D Construction

Stem Playdough 3D Construction

2) Pipe Cleaner & Hoop Threading Counting

Playdough pipecleaner fine motor skill counting

3) Lego Addition 

Play Dough Lego Addition

4)Ladybug Spots Addition 

Play Dough ladybug addition

5)Magnet Letter Spelling

Playdough Magnet Spelling

6) Alphabet Mat 

Playdough letter formation

7) Shape Mat

Playdough shape practise

8) Play Dough Patterns

Playdough Pattern Practise

9) Decorate Play Dough Easter Eggs

Playdough easter egg decorating

10) Insect Play Dough Fossils Matching

Insect Playdough Fossils

If your kids love dinosaurs and fossils, and you already have all the toys why not try this alternative.

11) Hair Play Dough Faces 

Playdough Hair Creation Faces

12) Frozen Invitation To Play 

Frozen Themed Play Dough Invitation To Play

13) Dinosaur Invitation To Pla

Playdough Dinosaur Invitation To Play

14) Cupcake Decorating 

Playdough Cupcake Decorating

15) Rainbow Colour Matching 

Rainbow Play Dough Matching

We hope we have given you some easy ideas to use at home and I think you’ll agree using playdough for learning and play got a whole lot more colourful! 

Need more ideas to keep you and your children sane? Here are even more ideas from another team member!

Don’t have playdough at home right now?

If you don’t have any store-bought play dough the good news is you can easily make some. If kept in a sealed container it can last from 4-6months. 

All you need is:

  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 2tbsp vegetable/sunflower oil
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 1 cup of warm water 
  • 4 tsp cream of tartar 
  • Food Colouring (optional)

Method: mix them all together and knead until combined. I using colour, add some and knead until the colour is spread throughout. 


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