This particular activity has been an absolute staple in my household for the last couple of months! There is something about squishy dough that just mesmerizes a child over an over again. As long as you prepare for a little mess ahead of time, activities using dough can be fun, simple, and actually educational. I said it in my last post and I will literally say it again. Sometimes the simplest things can turn into the absolute best toddler activities!
My toddler, like many others, is a huge fan of any type of dough. As long as he can “Squish” it and make all types of shapes out of it, he is happy as can be for a good period of time. Below I explain how easy it is to include this simple activity as a part of your toddlers learning activities.
“There is something about squishy dough that just mesmerizes a child over an over again…”
Get Your Supplies
This activity has an incredibly easy supply list, which is what I absolutely love. Most of these supplies can either be found in the home or with one low priced trip to the store.
- Dough of whatever variety you like. (Play Doh, Dollar Store Dough, Home-made dough, etc.)
- A barrier between the dough and your floor. I use a 3 foot roll of brown paper shown here. ( “Dollar Store Find”!) You can get a sizable roll of this masking paper from the Dollar Tree.
- Letters that can make a cut-out. This virtually includes most of the letters that we find around the house, even refrigerator magnets. I used letters from a letter puzzle my son picked out at Walmart but these alphabet cutters happen to work especially well for this activity.
Make Your Own Non-Toxic Play Dough (If you choose to..)
- 1 cup of flour
- ¼ cup of salt
- ½ cup of water
- 3 to 5 drops of natural food coloring (I use this)
- Mix the flour and salt together first.
- Then mix a half cup of warm water with a few drops of food coloring.
- Pour the water into the flour mixture, stirring as you pour. When combined, knead with your hands until the flour is completely absorbed. Add additional flour if necessary to limit stickiness.
Prepare the Letters/Words
This step is completely up to you 🙂 Depending on where your toddler is on learning the alphabet, you may just want to have letters to play with, or you can make sure that you have the required letters for some sight words. I also chose to let my son cut out his name as well. Mix it up and throw in some animals and shapes too! Literally anything goes at this step.
Prepare the Dough
This part of the activity is very simple and only takes a minute or two but really makes the activity more fun for your toddler. In fact, it is much more simple then it sounds. My toddler is young so he needs a little help when it comes to getting the dough in the right shape for letter cutting. I chose to knead the dough into flat circles to make it easier for him to cut the letters. Once he he saw me do it once, he was a pro! And YES, it took me 2 years to introduce him to play-doh LOL! Sorry not sorry!
“Mix it up and throw in some animals and shapes too! Literally anything goes at this step.”
Let the Fun Begin!
This activity can literally last for over an hour! Any type of dough seems to keep my toddler’s attention for an abnormal amount of time, especially if I am attempting to help guide him along the way. However, I do suggest to give them a little bit of free time at some point. I say all the time that toddlers LOVE to show their independence! So I always try to allow for flexibility with any toddler learning activities.
Tell Your Stories!
Play Dough is a favorite pass time for children that has provided literally decades of fun for all ages. Through the years many parents and even toy companies have come of with numerous ways to have fun with this awesome substance. There have even been variations of the dough! Have you explored dough activities with your toddler? If so let me know! I would love to see ideas and recipes in the COMMENT section below!