More fun with playdough – Toddler

ETTS More fun with playdough Toddler WPThere are many types of playdough that toddlers will enjoy exploring. Try simple dough for baking (and eating!) e.g. damper or scented dough for a calming experience e.g. lavender, or even sparkling dough by adding glitter! You can also make gluten-free playdough – just use gluten free flour!

Did you know?

Manipulating dough strengthens little hands ready for using pencils and scissors when they are older.

Add language – build a foundation for literacy skills

Playing together with dough provides a wonderful opportunity to use repetitive language and sing songs e.g. “This is the way we squeeze the dough, squeeze the dough, squeeze the dough”. Young children learn language through lots of repetition.

Free play with playdough is a fantastic way to introduce some new words e.g. squish, squeeze, roll, sticky, etc. A wide range of spoken words is an important foundation for developing literacy skills (reading and writing words).

Other development

Allowing your child plenty of time of time to play with the dough gives them a chance for creative development. Your toddler may enjoy just playing and exploring with the dough but not actually ‘making’ something. Allow them to explore the sensation and properties of dough. Exploring and experimenting with all the different things you can do with playdough feeds your toddler’s curiosity. This is important for developing these skills for science. Comparing sizes, shapes, colours, position and direction develops early maths concepts.


Simple props e.g. patty pans, straws, or gumnuts encourage creative exploration as your toddler can push these into or through the dough.


Pay special attention to safety when using hot water when making your dough. Home-made playdough is safe to eat but contains a lot of salt. Discourage children from consuming large quantities.

Here is a quick easy recipe which keeps well in the fridge for months:

Making Playdough

1 cup salt
2 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons oil
3 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 cups boiling water
colour if required

1. Combine ingredients (except water) in a bowl.
2. Pour the boiling water and stir.
3. Knead lightly on table top.