The benefits of playing with play dough and 5 fun play dough activities.

Every aspect of playing with play dough is enjoyable for children. It is a tactile experience where children can explore the sensory qualities…

They can squish, mold, roll it flat, create shapes, press objects inside it, smell it and create different colour combinations.

Working play dough with their hands develops the child’s large and small muscles.

Play dough can be an effective stress release – we all know that children can

become stressed and frustrated and playing with play dough is a calming activity.

It helps to build an active imagination.

It aids in eye-hand coordination and improves fine motor skills.

Playing with play dough can be cooperative play when used with other children, it can help children understand the importance of sharing.

This play dough is gluten free allergy friendly dough, click HERE for the recipe. You can make your own using your own recipe or use store bought play dough :)


1. Use play dough as a learning tool.

It can be divided up to learn numbers or can be shaped into numbers or letters.

This is great for the 4 and 5 year old's to learn how to write their names and learn the alphabet.

Letter learning tool

Print out a large letters alphabet or your child's name and laminate it. You could also use clear plastic book coverings from warehouse stationary.

Then they can use Kneado to shape the letters and learn their name :)

2. Hand print keepsake

I remember doing this as kids. so much fun and years later your child can see how much their hand has grown.

You will need:

100g clean sand

200g white play dough


Incorporate the play dough and sand together and flatten out the ball of sand and shape into a flat circle. Then press the hand firmly onto the circle.

If you wish to hang it up later place 2 small holes on the edge so you can thread some twine through it.

All you do now is place your hand print in a warm sunny spot for 3-5 days and let it air dry. turn it over after a day of two to make sure both sides dry out evenly :)

The final product, looks like it is made of concrete! Love it :)

3. Pumice stone look, play dough beads!

This is the same concept as the concrete look keepsake, but making beads instead of a hand print.

This recipe makes heaps of beads (approx 3 necklaces, so feel free to reduce the amount you make.

You will need:

100g clean sand

200g white play dough

Toothpick/ skewer or knitting needle.

Elastic thread


Mix the dry sand and play dough together then shape into small bead size balls.

Poke a hole through the centre with a toothpick or knitting needle.

Place the beads in a warm sunny spot for 3-5 days and let it air dry.

Thread them onto elastic and tie the ends to make a concrete look necklace :)

4. Experiment with colour, texture and scent

Experiment with different textures and scents by adding herbs, sand, vegetable juices or add your own colour.

We had a lot of fun adding herbs from the garden, beetroot, sand from the sand pit and cocoa from the pantry.

Things to try in the play dough....

Cocoa, sand, beetroot, rosemary, mint, lemon rind, orange rind, activated charcoal, vanilla essence, food grade peppermint essence (not oil), dried lavender.

5. Make a play dough volcano

What you will need:

100g play dough

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 tablespoon baking soda

5 drops beetroot juice (grate beetroot finely and squeeze out juice)


Make up your dough and shape it into a volcano, I used yellow play dough and actually thought afterwards I could have incorporated the brown in to make it look a bit more realistic/ look like a mountain and less like a cone shaped pound cake.

Push a pencil down the center to make a hole.

Add baking soda down the hole

Mix vinegar and beetroot together then add both down the hole

Watch it bubble up and flow out!

Voila, volcano!... that looks a little like a delicious pudding…

Note: after making the volcano just wash the vinegar baking soda mix off the dough and place out to dry out for a couple of hours, then you can continue to use it :)

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