Use these free printable playdough mats as the perfect addition to any playdough activities! There are so many benefits to playing with play dough for young children. Strengthening hand muscles, language skills, math skills, and creativity are just a few of the best things about the sensory experience of working with playdough.
Young kids can benefit from exploring and playing with play dough without anything extra added to it. There is no need to add something new until your child’s interest in the playdough by itself slows down. When it does, here are different ways to spice it up.
Different tools are a fun addition to play dough:
- popsicle sticks
- cupcake wrappers
- plastic animals
- muffin trays
- rolling pin
- birthday candles
- cookie cutters
- old garlic crushers
- plastic forks, knives, or spoons
- pom poms
- googly eyes
Benefits of Playing with Playdough
- It is a great way to strengthen fine motor muscles (fingers, wrists, and hands) which helps develop important fine motor skills and coordination.
- Playing with playdough gives an opportunity for imaginative play and sensory play.
- There is no wrong way to play with playdough. This experience fosters creativity and imagination which are important skills.
- It is a fun way to promote experimentation and discovery.
- Working with play dough increases vocabulary in an authentic way.
Prepare the Playdough and Mats
My kids love using scented playdough and fun play dough mats. Here’s my favorite easy homemade scented playdough recipe and the best no-cook playdough recipe. The easiest way to prepare the printable mats is to print them onto card stock and laminate them. A laminated playdough mat lasts longer and is easy to clean. If laminating isn’t an option, you can cover the mat with clear contact paper or use a page protector. All of these options assure that it wipes clean after you use it.
Some of these free playdough mats have a purpose such as making letters or putting a certain number of “apples” on a tree and others are for creative open-ended play. These mats have different themes and are organize by season.
Here are several free printables and other creative ideas for playing with playdough.
Back to School Playdough Mats from The Printables Fairy.
Roll balls and put them on the apple trees with this Apple Tree Playdough Mat from Early Learning Activities.
Add a face on the pumpkin to turn it into a jack o lantern with these Halloween Playdough Mats from Storytime and More.
Feed the Dog Playdough Mat from PreKinders has your child counting and feeding each pet with pieces of play dough.
Decorate each turkey on the Turkey Playdough Mat from Early Learning Activities.
Make a scary or silly monster with the Monster Playdough Mats from Two Pink Peonies.
Make and count candiess with the Gingerbread House Playdough Mat from PreKinders
Add different colors of playdough to the Penguin Playdough Mat from Early Learning Activities
Count and add marshmallows to the Hot Cocoa and Marshmallow Playdough Mat from The Preschool Toolbox
Get creative with the Christmas Playdough Mats from The Printables Fairy
Make a colorful flower with the Flower Playdough Mat from Early Learning Activities.
Learn about the life cycle of a butterfly with this Butterfly life cycle mat from Mommy Made That.
Decorate an Easter Egg with playdough with the Easter Egg mat from Messy Little Monster.
Roll and shape playdough pieces to add to the Transportation Mats from Preschool Play and Learn.
Build construction vehicles with these free construction playdough mats.
Roll the die and give the crocodile playdough teeth with the Crocodile Mat from Sparkle Box.
Count and add to the Ice Cream Cone with the playdough mats from Growing Hands On Kids.
Get creative with the Under the Sea Playdough mats from Nurture Store.
Add to the Space Play Dough Mat from Sparkle Box to create your own galaxy.
Letters of the Alphabet, Numbers and Shapes Playdough Mats
Play this fun playdough smash game! Roll up the balls, roll the die, and smash the number you rolled. So fun!
In The Playroom has number cards to use with play dough balls.
Playdough Number Mats from Powerful Mothering – These printable mats include number words, number formation, and number recognition. They are a great activity to include in Math centers.
Alphabet Playdough Mats from 123 Homeschool 4 Me – These abc playdough mats focus on letter recognition and letter formation, but you can work on letter sounds along the way too.
Shape Playdough Mats from Preschool Play and Learn are great for young learners.
Fun Playdough Activities
Make a Playdough Zoo from House of Baby Piranha
This Playdough Ice Cream Shop from Spell Outloud is so much fun!
Make a Playdough Mystery Box from Inspiration Surrounds Creativity Abounds
Here’s a fun Frosting Dough Recipe that is edible and fun to make together.
This Playdough Lacing Activity with noodles and playdough is a fun fine motor skills challenge.
Fun activities with playdough are a fun way for older children to express their creativity. Play dough activities are so much fun and the perfect way for kids of all ages to have fun with the same activity (babysitters, older and younger siblings, etc.)