Playdough is the ultimate classic art and craft toy for kids. Whether you buy it from the store or make your own, kids of all ages love playing with the squishy stuff. One of our favorite tricks for getting kids to play longer is through guided play. Playdough mats are the perfect way to help inspire creativity with very little guidance. We have created 5 FREE PRINTABLE playdough mats for parents to add to the playdough bucket. The themes are:
- What do I look like?
- What are you eating?
- What’s growing in your pot?
- Design a house!
- Decorate the cake!
Another trick we’ve figured out over the years with our 9 kids combined, is mixing the playdough with other crafting materials and household items. Things like glitter, beads, toothpicks, pom poms, googly eyes, yarn, ribbon, slime styrofoam balls and so on make it just that much more fun. And a few safe scissors and plastic knives do wonders when helping create sharp edges and shapes.
Fruit and veggies are some of the easiest things to sculpt for little hands. They can make all kinds with a few simple shapes and colors. When introducing new foods to picky eaters, we like to first make the playdough version and then the child is more likely to try the real thing after they’ve created it!
Flowers and plants are another easy thing for kids to create. There’s almost no wrong way to make a flower/plant. Encourage kids to use all different colors and soon enough they’ll have beautiful masterpieces that rival the likes of Van Gogh and Monet!
Cakes are so fun because that’s where you can use all the playdough tools and molds. Literally anything can go on a cake!
Last, but definitely not least, there are the playdough faces mats. These are so fun to have kids create self portraits but crazy faces are just as fun too! And as a bonus, get some safe scissors out so your child can cut the hair to practice their fine motor skills.
We’ve created five different face mats to include a range of skin tones.
Playdough mats are a must-have in every playdough bin. They help open children’s mind by guiding them to think and create.
For more free printables, craft ideas, activities for kids of all ages, and other helpful parenting tips to help kids and families create and play, follow us on Instagram or sign up for our weekly newsletter.
Much love and aloha,
Stacey + Niki