Preschool Activities: Make Your Own Playdough

a drawing of smiling stick figures holding hands

Playdough has been one of the staple preschool activities for years, and it just got a whole lot easier. While regular playdough dries out very easily (and can be costly to replace!) this homemade playdough recipe is tried and tested for texture and lifespan. It’s simple to make, and your kids can join in, too!

Preschool Activities: Playdough

Playdough provides so much more than just entertainment. Without your child knowing it, they’re working on their fine motor skills and developing their creativity every time they play. Rolling out playdough with a rolling pin uses shoulder and arm muscles, and creating shapes improves their grip and grasp. Another two key areas that get exercise are bilateral coordination and hand-eye coordination, both of which are essential in early development.

Playdough preschool activities can also easily fit to any theme. You can make Halloween pumpkins with orange playdough in October, or Christmas candy canes with red and white playdough in December. At the end of the day, playdough lets your child express themselves creatively. If you’re short on activities, let them guide the play session! See what they feel inspired to make and provide some pointers to help them try out new ideas. Cookie cutters, rolling pins, and cutlery all help your child get to grips with these household objects.

One of our favorite preschool activities for playdough is perfect for budding archeologists. Hide some beads or buried treasure in a ball of playdough, and let your child excavate to find all the pieces. This also promotes tactile discrimination, which is essential in developing fine motor skills. This teaches children about how one object feels compared to another, letting them separate them in their mind.

Homemade Playdough Recipe

All the ingredients are easy to get, meaning you can make extra playdough whenever your kids want a new color. This recipe can last for several months with the dough still feeling fresh, a clear winner over store-bought playdough that dries out after a few days.

All you need is:

  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Food coloring (optional)

Ready to get started? Follow these simple steps to get your playdough ready in hours, just in time to enjoy some games with your preschooler.

  1. Combine the flour, salt, and cream of tartar into a pot. Add in the water and oil, and the food coloring if you’re only making one color. If you want more than one color, save the food coloring for later.
  2. Over a medium heat, stir until the dough thickens up and forms a ball. When it’s ready, take it off the heat and put the dough into a bowl or onto wax paper.
  3. Once it’s cooled, you can knead the dough out until it reaches that smooth playdough texture.
  4. Making more than one color? Divide your dough into sections and add a few drops of food coloring to each individual ball. Place each ball in its own clear quart-sized bag and knead until it’s smooth and the color has spread. This way, you won’t stain your hands with food coloring! These bags are also great for storage when the playdough isn’t being used.

You can also make the designs more fun by adapting this recipe. Add some glitter for extra sparkle, or some beads for decorating those playdough masterpieces. The sky’s the limit with creativity, so don’t be afraid to try something new!

Preschool Activities at Parkland Children’s Academy

Preschool in Parkland at Parkland Children’s Academy is all about mixing play into your child’s daily routine. After all, that’s how young children learn! With a stimulating curriculum and engaging after school activities, we’re committed to giving your child the best head start in their school life. Give us a call today at (954) 688-5877, we’d love to talk to you about our childcare programs and facilities.

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