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 Electric playdough! conductive recipe and ideas to light up your dough activities! electric conducting play dough can be made using a basic cooked salt dough recipe no changes are necessary and an insulating dough recipe that we found a little trickier.  Model your salt based dough into two untouching sculptures and position any number of LED bulbs between the two ensuring the lead, prong or probes span the gap. Place a negative connector into one section of dough and the positive connector into the other. Swich on the power and see if your circuit is complete.  Sugar based dough acts as a barrier to the current.

 Watch Squishy Circuits Annmarie Thomas on TED Talks

Electro playdough kit
now available on

NB. the diodes might have one shorter lead/spike (-cathode) than the other (+anode), if the bulbs fail to light up, turn them around to  try again
Electic playdough idea for Yule Christmas and winter

Show how a circuit is created using LEDs to demonstrate the flow of electrical current.
Making an electrical circuit light up using LEDs a battery pack, connectors and laydough

To read more about conductive playdough  squishy circuits has excellent information

plastic, lids,pots and tubs used as insulation cores

Although we failed to make a successful batch of insulting dough, we found plastic, glass, ceramic tubs, pots & lids are all effective in demonstrating the barrier 'wall' that prevents the current's path, along with empty laminated pouches cut to size!

Buy a battery pack on
10mm LED light diodes on
Buy crocodile clips, pre-wired on
Resources needed to plan this activity
Links are to

10mm LED light diodes   

To power the LEDs you can use either

One, 4 AA compartment battery pack with negative and positive wires already attached  + connectors to help the wires stay in the dough. An on/off switch might also be useful.  If you find the wires are too short you can extend their reach by using crocodile clips & leads

 Or a set of crocodile clips, leads and a 9v square battery

9V battery + crocodile cips and 10mm LED diodes
Battery pack - 4 AA + terminals and LED diodes
The salt in the dough will eventually corrode the metal leads, wiping them clean between uses will help prolong their life.

Risk assessing the activity
People may worry when they hear young children, batteries and electricity are all part of a hands-on activity. Assess the risks that your project involves and take steps to ensure that everyone is reassured and stays safe.

 This PDF on Squishy circuits explains basic circuitry  and  the classroom guide offers activity examples

Print a set of Attention battery pack labels to keep everyone informed of safety
Safety awareness:

Connecting a component like a LED bulb directly to the battery pack's metal terminals will cause the LED to burn out or possibly pop.

Do not allow the battery pack's metal clips/terminals/connectors to touch each other. The current needs to flow through the dough to avoid the battery heating up.

Battery pack safety labels  and full A4 sized label paper on

Conductive playdough - learning about electrical circuits

More light up dough ideas:

 Birthday cake and pretend LED candles

Buy plastic cups to insert into the playdough on
Safety goggle glasses - buy on
Buy plastic cups to insert into the playdough on


  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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Sensory playdough activities

Playdough textures

Copyright notice - designed, written and illustrated by Ruth Grimes