There are heaps of great craft ideas using play dough that children can make, and they can play with it for hours. Go here for playdough recipes.
Dough provides hours of making and modelling fun, and is especially good for young kids as it is softer than clay to poke and prod. Unfortunately the projects have a short life span, as the dough begins to dry out over a couple of days, but kids enjoy the process far more than the end product anyway.
You can purchase coloured play dough in pots, or use our easy recipe to make your own. Store bought dough will last indefinitely if kept in their air tight containers, where as home made dough will start to go slimy after a couple of weeks. To lengthen its lifespan, keep it in an air tight container in the fridge.
7 great craft ideas using play dough
Modelling projects are only limited by your imagination, and there are lots of things you’re child can make with play dough. Here are some great ideas to get you started.
Once you’ve had a go with some of these ideas, let your imagination take hold, and see what you can come up with.
1. Cupcakes and Cookies
Playing with dough lends itself to playing make believe, and you will find that preschool children very quickly start to make and bake. Instead of simply making some dough cookies, then squashing them down, why not make a plate of elaborate cakes using cookable dough.
Your child can paint them up in bright colours, and then use the pieces over and over as they play picnics with their friends or dolls.
2. Birthday Cakes
It is fun to make giant birthday cakes using coloured dough and your child can really go over board with the decorations. Start by making a thick pancake with one colour dough, and then stack more and more on top to create coloured layers of cake. Your child can make long squiggly sausages which they then use like piped icing to decorate the cake.
If you like you could give them plastic figurines or letters to add to the decorations as well – and don’t forget the birthday candles!
3. Box Scenes
Cut the top and front out of an old cardboard box, and then paint it up to make a farmyard scene. Use dough to make lots of farmyard animals, and then pop them into place.
You could use the same idea to make all sorts of scenes – craters of the moon, bugs in the grass, or even the jungle. There is an awesome example of a volcano and dinosaur scene in our Arts and Crafts Community Board.
4. Dough Fossils
Gather together a pile of natural treasures like shells, twigs and leaves, and have your child make dough fossils. Simply roll the dough into a ball and then squash it flat with your hand. Press in your treasure, and carefully remove it to leave an imprint.
It is sometimes tricky to pull out the item without destroying the rest of the dough, so try tipping the whole piece upside down, and gently peeling the dough off the back.
5. Dough Blocks
Turn dough into a building material by showing your child how to make blocks which stack on top of each other. Add toothpicks, skewers and ice block sticks and let your child use their imagination. It’s amazing what types of buildings and construction they will create.
6. Flower Pots
Squash play dough into a plastic flower pot to form a base for a paper garden. Have your kids poke in drinking straws to form the flower stalks, and then attach paper flowers to the top.
7. Christmas Decorations
Your child can make great Christmas decorations out of cookable dough. Simply roll out the dough to about 5mm thick, and then use cookie cutters to cut it into Christmas themed shapes. Poke a hole at the top of the piece using a pencil, and then bake.
Once the decorations are hard and cold, your child can paint each piece, and even add some glitter for a real Christmas effect. Thread coloured ribbon through the hole, and hang them on the tree.