Preschool Playdough Activities and Homemade Playdough Recipes

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Playdough is a versatile preschool tool you can use to achieve all kinds of wonderful learning outcomes with your toddlers this year. It’s great for building up finger strength and practicing fine motor skills. Plus, you can use playdough to build hand/eye coordination and practice problem solving as you use my playdough activities.

Whether you’re using store bought playdough or a favorite homemade playdough recipe, adding tools, playdough mats, or printables, and some creativity can be the start of something magical in your preschool classroom or homeschool. Keep reading to discover some of my favorite playdough activities for preschool and fun no-prep playdough printables too.

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free playdough activities for kids

Learning with Playdough Activities and Lesson Plans

Playdough is such a versatile preschool tool and it’s an affordable one too! Whether you’re making your own playdough or purchasing dough from the store, it’s easy to add this fun element to your next preschool lesson. You can add playdough activities to nearly any lesson for a fun way to increase retention.

homemade playdough recipes

Playdough is a good activity for children to practice all kinds of important early learning skills. Plus, it’s a ton of fun for kids of all ages too! By manipulating playdough, children develop hand/eye coordination and build strong finger muscles. Among other things, these skills help prepare them for writing in kindergarten and beyond.

Artsy activities and crafts help preschool learners build connections in their brains and develop an understanding of cause and effect. You can use playdough in the classroom and at home to help your preschoolers learn about problem solving and build critical thinking skills.

Playdough Mats & Playdough Printables

Playdough mats and printables can be used in the classroom or in occupational therapy to develop important early skills through play. Homeschool families can use playdough mats as a fun way to build important early learning skills at home too. I’ve created some playdough mats to encourage your preschoolers and toddlers to explore and learn in all kinds of ways this year.

playdough mats and playdough printables for kids

You can add playdough mats and playdough printables to all kinds of preschool themes and lessons. They’re perfect for centers and indoor activities. Check out some of my favorites:

Recycling Playdough Mats for Earth Day

Exploring Emotions with Playdough Printables

Halloween Themed Playdough Mats

Dinosaur Discovery Playdough Mats

Seasonal Playdough Mats for Summer  

Spring Playdough Printable Mats

Learn Shapes with Playdough Mats

Insect Playdough Mats

Christmas Playdough Mats

Homemade Playdough Recipes

My favorite homemade playdough recipes are easy to make and adaptable for lots of different uses. One simple trick I love is adding scent to playdough. There are lots of easy ways to do it! You can use Kool-aid to add scent and a bright color to your dough or use natural ingredients like cinnamon. 

Seasonal playdough recipes are another great way to make your homemade playdough even more fun for preschoolers. Adding a fun new playdough recipe for the holidays or your summer vacation is a great way to spark interest in a new lesson and make your playdough activities even more fun. Check out some of my favorite homemade playdough recipes below:

Homemade Playdough Recipes for Summer

Playdough activities are perfect for keeping kids entertained and learning all summer long. My favorite summer playdough recipe for sensory engagement is a Sand Playdough Recipe from Inspire My Play

Sand playdough is great for exploring different textures with your preschool learners. Plus, it makes an awesome sandcastle at home too!

I also really like the Edible Mermaid Playdough from Kimspired DIY for summer preschool playdough activities. The vibrant colors go well with my playdough mats and all kinds of summer art activities too.

Autumn Homemade Playdough Recipes

In Autumn, I find myself drawn to playdough recipes with wonderful scents. If you’re all about apple cinnamon or pumpkin spice, you’re going to love incorporating these homemade playdough recipes into your classroom or homeschool activities. Check out Apple Pie Scented Dough from Natural Beach Living or indulge in a Pumpkin Spice Playdough Recipe from The Mommyhood Life. 

Homemade Playdough Recipes for the Holidays

Playdough recipes are a fun activity for families over the holidays too. It’s a great way to spend time together in the kitchen making memories and practicing important early learning skills with your preschoolers too. 

Try this edible Easter Playdough recipe made with Peeps. It pairs up well with my holiday playdough mats and printable playdough activities too.

Edible Peeps playdough recipes. The perfect edible playdough for Easter marshmallows

Spring Playdough Recipes

If you’re looking for homemade playdough recipes to share with your kids on a rainy spring day, don’t miss these favorites: Flower Petal Playdough from Sprouting Wild Ones and the Easter Carrot Homemade Playdough Recipe from Made to be a Momma.  

Making a Playdough Center or Kit

Kids love playdough! That’s why it’s such an easy activity to incorporate into your preschool lessons this year. You can approach early literacy, math, sensory, and even writing skills with your preschoolers through playdough activities. 

Playdough is versatile. It’s great for squishing, rolling, shaping, and more. Kids can use playdough in so many different ways! It’s easy to pack in a bag and bring on the go, set up in your classroom learning centers, or give as a creative gift. 

Playdough Centers

Playdough centers are perfect for preschool classrooms and homeschool spaces. In your classroom, you can add playdough to a literacy center, science center, math center, or art station. There are just so many ways to incorporate playdough into your preschool lesson plans!

At home, playdough activities can be used for strewing and independent activity stations with your homeschoolers. This gives them an opportunity to explore and engage with the dough without prescribed rules or steps they have to follow.

A word of advice, set up separate tubs for the materials in your playdough station to encourage children to care for their playdough and keep the center ready to use for your preschoolers at any time without lots of prep. Having a space for playdough tools can be helpful too.

Adding Playdough Tools

Playdough tools give kids ideas and new ways to interact with the playdough. Here are some of my favorites:

Plastic cutlery

Safety scissors

Rolling pin

Cookie Cutters

Loose Parts

Googly Eyes

Stamper

Playdough Kits

Playdough themed kits are easy to add to your preschool playdough center or give as a gift. You can purchase a sensory playdough kit or make your own with homemade playdough, tools, and loose parts. A playdough kit can be small enough to fit inside a ziplock bag or large enough to house in a divided storage box.

I love this clear plastic storage tote from Sunxenze for storing homemade playdough kits in my classroom or homeschool learning space. It’s easy for kids to carry and comes with plenty of divided spaces for storing different colors of playdough and a variety of tools too.

Playdough kits can be themed and gifted with my printable playdough mats too. For example, pair my dinosaur playdough mats with small plastic dinosaur toys and green playdough for a fun dino themed sensory learning adventure.

Or pair my free Valentines Day treat topper with loose parts and Playdough for an easy Valentines Day gift idea.

playdough activities to go in a playdough kit gift ideas

How will you use playdough printables and activities in your classroom or homeschool space this year? Share your fun ideas in the comments so I can try a few with my preschoolers this school year too. I can’t wait to read all your great ideas!

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