Play Dough Fun


Playing with dough can be a quiet, sensory activity or a great way to initiate general conversation with children. After children have played with the dough using their hands and fingers, introduce some tools to the mix. Old cooking utensils you no longer use at home (e.g., potato masher, garlic press and rolling pins) make wonderful play dough tools. Playing with dough encourages imagination and creativity, provides an environment for early maths’ learning and strengthens a child’s hand muscles so they can manipulate everyday items like pencils and scissors.

What you need?

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 tbsps Cream of Tartar
  • 2 tbsps oil
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon vegetable colouring


1. Mix ingredients except for water and colouring in a large heatproof bowl.

2. Boil water.

3. Combine water with colouring and pour mixture on to other ingredients and stir until combined.

4. When cool, knead until smooth and store in airtight container.


Be sure to offer safe and appropriate play dough tools and objects relevant to the ages of the children in your group.

Extension of the activity

  • Introduce materials like rubber stamps, lace, combs and coins for the children to use.
  • Change the texture of the play dough by adding pebbles and sand.
  • Everyday items such as bottle tops etc., can be used as play dough tools for older children, and can also form part of the children’s masterpieces.

Language Structure / Keywords

Words associated with playing with dough; language related to recipes and making the dough. Cognitive – understanding how individual ingredients combine to make a different product, the dough; learning weights and measures.