Play-doh activities to keep little ones busy

I’ve said it in the past and I’ll say it again: play-doh is our go-to gift idea. I even gave parents cleaning tips so they don’t hate me for my gift-giving habits.

Today I continue my team play-doh status and share two fun tasks for you to do while we are still spending, oh so much time at home. Oh so much.

Play-Doh Faces

Making Play-Doh faces is so much fun and a great way for kids to learn about their bodies more specifically the face while developing fine motor skills. 

Before starting the activity discuss the different parts of the face and the shapes and size each aspect has in relation to each other i.e. eyes, ears, hair, nose, and mouth.

  1. Create a Face Mat – on a blank sheet of A4 paper draw a round circle for ahead with shoulders as context
  2. Gather your materials:
    1. Play-Doh in a range of colours
    1. Tools (optional), such as a plastic knife, rolling pin, or a Play-Doh press / moulds /cutters
    1. Decorations (optional), such as googly eyes, feathers, and beads
  3. Set your child up with a mirror and encourage them to make a self-portrait.
  4. Encourage them to add facial features to the face mat  – alternatively roll out a round shaped flat piece of Play-Doh for the face and add features on top of this
  5. Some kids may want to be more detailed and may add things like the pupil of an eye, eyebrows and eyelashes.
  6. They can use poke-ins such as googly eyes, buttons, or beads to add detail to the Play-Doh face.
  7. For a 3D effect use a mixing bowl (preferably transparent) – the size of the bowl depends on the size of the face you want to create can use a small cereal bowl up to a large mixing bowl.
  8. Turn the bowl upside down on the table.
  9. Use the Play-Doh to make eyes, nose, mouth, etc. for the face and press them to the bowl.
  10. They can cover the entire face with a Play-Doh ‘skin’ or just add facial features directly to the bowl.
  11. Roll out ‘snakes’ of Play-Doh for the hair.

Create a colourful Play-Doh Garden

You will need:

  • Large sheet of paper and markers
  • Range of Play-Doh colours
    • Tools (optional), such as a plastic knife, rolling pin, or a Play-Doh press / moulds /cutters
  1. Lay out a large piece of paper and ask the children to draw a garden using colourful, markers. Ask questions to help generate ideas like “What’s in or around your garden? Flowers? Vegetables? A fence? Flowerpots?”
  • If you have more than 1 child, encourage them to work together by collaborating on the same garden, rather than making their own.   If working together then encourage children to build off each other’s thinking and respond to each other’s ideas. While they are drawing and creating, facilitate their work by helping them share space, tasks and materials.  At the end of the activity, highlight the benefits of them working together.
  • Finally have the children create objects in their drawing using Play-Doh compound. Watch as they transition their flat design into a colourful 3D garden. Alternatively they can overlay Play-Doh onto their drawn design.
  • Add a fun math game element – on each flower in the garden write the number of petals required and your child will need to recreate the Play-Doh flowers each with the correct number of petals that correspond to the drawn number.

Both of these hacks are from Play-doh themselves, check out their facebook page for more.

One thought on “Play-doh activities to keep little ones busy

  1. Charlene says:

    a little bit of baby powder or corn starch on surfaces and hands makes cleaning up easier. Dust molds or stamps with above to avoid sticking

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *