Play Dough is great for developing motor skills and strengthening hand muscles (which lends to the development of writing skills, cutting, the use of a variety of tools etc.) It can ignite creativity, imaginary play and social skills (when children are working collaboratively on a project or sharing materials.) Below we suggested a variety of things we have used with playdough at home, in playgroups and in school. We would love to hear any suggestions you may have! Materials Play dough (you can buy this commercially or make your own- see the Directions section for our favourite recipe) Clay boards or laminated placemats Ideas for Items to Include in your Play: From Left to Right, Top Row: Seasonal items (such as filler eggs, artificial Fall leaves etc. for different holidays) Vehicles (perfect for making tracks and imaginary play) Craft matchsticks (without the match heads, great for building, making impressions) Plastic jewels, glass rocks (great for digging out “treasures”) Science related items (such as plastic dinosaur bones that they can excavate) Second Row Down Thematic items (we showed Space for example- with plastic stars, rockets, astronauts etc.) Plastic animals/figurines (you could do different groups- Farm, North American Forest, Rain Forest etc.) Glitter (we added this to our playdough for a space birthday party- simple and fun!) Playdough cutters (Again, you could sort into themes) Building blocks (fun for making impressions) Third Row Down Dice (for making impressions) Spools and tape rolls (great for making impressions and circle cut-outs) Stamps (Your could use those that are images such as vehicles or letters) Craft eyes Marbles Paper clips Bottom Row Construction items (washers, nuts etc.) Old keys (for making imprints) Rocks (you could use a variety of nature items such as twigs too) Sequins Craft gems Golf pegs (you might want to include plastic hammers) From Left to Right, Top Row: (* starting with the third item as there was some overlap in the photograph) Clothes pins (just be careful of pinches!) Craft feathers Caps (from beverage jugs and cartons) Second Row Down Popsicle sticks (great for building) Game (bingo) chips Chenille sticks Toothpicks (great for building, just watch out for pokes) Third Row Down Craft foam (you could use shapes or cut your own- such as a carrot nose for a snow person) Scoops (great for imaginary play) Straws (good for construction or making 3-D shapes in math) Play coins (dig for “treasure” or create imprints) Bottom Row Shells Buttons Beads Wood pieces Birthday candles (unlit of course!) From left to right: Cooking and baking utensils (measuring spoons, garlic presses, icing tubes are great fun!) Beach toys (molds, shovels etc.) Silicon cupcake liners (you could do mini muffin tins, small pie plates etc.) Clay tools (you can purchase these at educational and art stores) Scissors Rolling pins Primary clay and playdough tools (bigger for easy gripping for smaller children) Candy/chocolate molds Directions Play Dough Recipe Ingredients: 1 cup flour 1 cup water 1/2 salt 3 tbsp cream of tarter 2 tbsp vegetable oil Food colouring Directions: Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium pan. Add water and oil. Cook on medium heat. Stir continuously. When the dough mix pulls away from the sides and forms into a large ball, the dough is ready to be placed in a small bowl to cool. Store in a plastic container or re-sealable bag. Source: Japer Place Child and Family Resource Centre Safety Notes As the included play dough recipe involves a stove, an adult should make it. (An added bonus is that it is an excellent upper arm mini work-out!) Many of the suggested items to include in play can be choking hazards and are therefore not recommended for children 0-3 or those who tend to put things in their mouths. Encourage your children to wash their hands before playing with the play dough and remember to discard it regularly, making new batches. This dough is not designed for consumption. Please like & share: Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Name* Email* Website Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.