Making Play Dough With Preschoolers


making play dough with preschoolersSummer is just around the corner, which sometimes means a lot more busy, full days for parents. At The Adventure Learning Center, a Ballwin, MO Preschool, we understand how hot summers can get! We know parents need to have a few fun indoor activities over the course of the summer to not only keep your kiddos occupied indoors, but also learning and growing!

We work with the students on sensory activities, which are a no-fail activity that the kids love. Sensory activities are perfect for indoor summer play, help develop fine-motor skills, encourage creativity and are fun for all ages. Kids have fun exploring the materials, and love to learn hands-on.

One of our favorite home sensory activities is making play dough with preschoolers. Rolling and cutting up play dough helps with hand coordination and fine motor skills. In the process of playing, children are building fine-motor muscle control – an important pre-writing skill. Not to mention, it’s really fun for parents too!

Benefits of Making Play Dough with Preschoolers:


The possibilities for play dough play are limitless and evoke imagination. Provide the kids with play dough and a variety of materials to use and encourage them to create anything they can imagine! Sensory tools promote play and allow children to slow down and have fun while using their creativity.

2. Fine Motor Skill Development

Play dough is perfect for strengthening the muscles in little hands. They will use these fine-motor skills later for handwriting, cutting, coloring, etc.

3. It’s Calming

Simply playing with dough is soothing and calming, even for adults! It’s a fun way of easing tension, releasing extra energy, improving focus and concentration. It could be a great outlet for children to express their emotions or release anxiety.

4. Social Skills

Play dough is a fantastic activity for children to play within groups. It presents opportunities for teamwork, imagination, discussion, sharing, and problem-solving. Encourage your child to play with others and talk to you while they play. Ask them to describe what they are making, and doing while they play.

DIY Play Dough Recipe:

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup water
  • few drops of food coloring (optional, you can also find or make natural dyes)
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar


  • Play dough
  • Rolling Pin ( small ones are fun for the kids to use)
  • Plastic cutters – simple shapes
  • Plastic knife – round ended
  • Plastic mat to work on

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, constantly stirring so it doesn’t stick to the pan. When the mixture starts to stick together and form a ball, remove the pan from the stove. Let the dough get cool enough to touch before playing. Store in small containers with lids or a gallon sized plastic bag. If stored airtight it does not need to be refrigerated and will be last up to a month.

Have fun with your kiddos this summer and share your summer activity photos with us!