Playdough activities

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Playdough recipes - edible and non-edible
an alphabetical list of playdough activities and ideas
playdough colour themed activity ideas for children's play and adults well-being
Playdough activity ideas for children and adults Summer holidays YAY, these activity suggestions are for kids who love all things playdough and adults who share a little or a lot of that love! Cooked playdough, stored between uses can, hygiene aside, last for the 6 whole weeks of a summer holiday. So buckle up a doughy seat belt and get ready for a host of activity suggestions that will keep your younger creatives and older sculpters engaged and entertained.
Summer playdough mats - making your own personalised set of laminated activity sheets

Before we get to the lists, it can be useful to consider if anyone will want to ..

Record their play, digitally or the more old fashioned way with a diary or sketch book? not only in text however, there are other ways to memorialise everyone's holiday activities, maybe there's a horticultural show planned locally where children can showcase their creations in an art or photography class? Making souvenirs from places you visit is also a nice way to remember a summer's past although do please be aware of any restrictions concerning pebble, flower or shell collection.

Playing with dough outside as well as inside? it can be useful to know what's expected. Would a table outdoors benefit your doughy creators? or maybe you're already a mud kitchen convert! In which case keeping an eye on the sun's position is the only head's up I can offer, pun intended ;)

Mix up their own playdough and a variety of different 'doughs'?
The easiest playdough recipe comes as flour, salt and water. These ingredients are ususally  found in the kitchen in ample quantities. A runny flour and water gloop is a simple glue, cream of tartar, handcream, essence or essential oils and food colouring a luxury dough, the kitchen is a world of opportunity! You may also find times when children want to shake things up a little, varying the textures being playing with, these could include - cloud dough, sand clay, paper mache, slime, actual cookie dough for baking, yum or playdough combined with other mediums - artificial snow, rice or sawdust.

and so to the activity ideas. Most of these are reliant on additional extras, like rice & sawdust, bits 'n' pieces or as they're called in the trade 'loose parts' Simon Nicholson How Not to cheat children –The Theory of Loose Parts. Landscape Architecture v62 p30-35, 1971   
week one

Roll ropes, plait plaits, cut shapes and enjoy
Play a Brussels sprout squashing game  
Collect & press leaves into the surface of dough
Add flour to wet mud and make stick people
Find the nicest smell and add it to dough
Draw & cut out snail shells for dough bodies
Get to know spices or a new spice
week two

Mix white flour with baby oil add scoops and cups
Roleplay ducks on a playdough pond
Create a character from a favourite story book
Fill balloons with dough & colour with marker pens
Explore conductive playdough
Balance marbles on an dough Octopus' suckers
Cut circles and create a group of emojis
week three

Add scales to a fish outline, dry & dab metallic
Hide & sunbake a £1 coin to excavate next week
Build a bedsheet tent & take in a tray of playdough
Have a Teddy bear's playdough picnic
Twist craft stems into wings, add to dough bodies
Sculpt a volcano around a jar, add vinegar + bicarb
Make a trinket pot from clay
week four

Jar of lights: cover with a sheet of clay, cut out stars
Excavate the £1 pound coin to spend
Print icecream cones & serve up some flavours
Use wobbly eyes to bring blobs of dough to life
Who's living on the web?
Thread hole punched bottle lids and balls of dough
Use a mirror to recreate a funny face  
week five

Roll out a green dough lawn & add flowers
Model with dough, pasta shapes & craft stems
Turn a play figure into something else
Play 0's & X's with 2 dough colours
Fill a picture frame
Cut circles, imprint with coins, dry and play shops
Shape a moon, cover with a mosaic of buttons  
week six

Make a clay face on a tree
Stack ping pong balls in a tower using playdough
What shapes do Lego bricks make on dough?  
Cut 8 bristles from a broom and use as whiskers ..
Sprinkle lavender over purple playdough
Build a playdough baby using family photos   
Create a hive full of busy bees

Making your own summer themed playdough mats
An excellent way to personalise children's activities, is to provide the materials that need to make their own summery playdough mats, base sheets that underpin their sculpting and modelling, collage and mosaic work. For this to be most effective open-ended pictures are good eg. environments such as a beach  - sea and sand, the sky - blue and clouds, a tree - trunk and canopy or a woodland, and then situations such as a bee hive, an open dolls house with empty rooms ready for doughy furniture to move in or maybe an open flower waiting for a bee or playdough fairy to land!

Regular pencils, water pencils, paint or acrylic inks on 300gsm card are all ideal for this. If you find the card warps as it dries place it image down onto a cloth and iron on a low heat with the steam function turned off, a few seconds is usually enough to flatten the sheet enough for it to be sucessfully laminated. A laminator will protect the artist's work from any oil in the dough and a folder keeps the sheets safe between uses. After this chalk pens can be used directly onto the laminated sheets and a camera captures the heart of everything going on and finished!          

Playdough activity pages or the more frequently updated summer page

Claw'esome crabs
, Sand clay recipe, Mer Island 
Claw'esome crabs playdough activity
Sandy clay recipe
Mermaids and mermen of Mer Island

Rays of sunshine, sunflower cllage,                              
Rays of summer sunshine

Have an awesome summer holiday :D xx

Buy white airdry clay to make permanent hard sculpted decorations
Buy left and right handed children's safety scissors on
Buy extruder tools on
Buy laminators and pouches on
buttons for collaging on the surface of playdough
Mixed wooden matchsticks
Pony beads for collage and threading



  Playdough Recipes
 Edible playdough recipes
 Not for eating  playdough recipes
 An alphabet of playdough

Aa - Bb - Cc - Dd - Ee - Ff - Gg - Hh - Ii - Jj - Kk

 Ll - Mm - Nn - Oo - Pp - Qq - Rr - Ss - Tt - Uu
 Vv - Ww - Xx - Yy - Zz   

 Seasonal playdough activities  
 Playdough books  
 Colour themed playdough activities
 Mixed - metallic rainbow and duos
 Red playdough
Pink playdough
 Orange playdough
 Yellow playdough
 Green playdough
 Blue playdough
 Purple playdough
 Brown playdough
 Black playdough
 Grey playdough
 White playdough


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 Playdough activities by age 

 Benefits of playdough  

Sensory playdough activities

Playdough textures

Copyright notice - designed, written and illustrated by Ruth Grimes