10 Ways to Use Playdough in the Classroom

Holly (Teach Starter)

Written by Holly (Teach Starter)

Kids love using playdough!

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Even as they get older it is still a fantastic tactile activity that can help reinforce different learning concepts.

You can either purchase the good old Play-Doh, alternatively, here is an easy, no-cook playdough recipe:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • Optional: add a few drops of food colouring

Learning Letters

Use our Alphabet Playdough Mats for Fine Motor Development to create this fun activity where letter formations and fine motor development are the focus.

Alphabet Playdough Mats

We also have Numbers 0-20 Playdough Mats available.

Tens Frames Activity

Use our Blank Tens Frames and Numbers 1-10 Poster (cut out as flashcards).

Students flip over a flashcard and create that number on a tens frame using small balls of playdough. They then place their chosen flashcard to the bottom of the pile and pick another flashcard and repeat.

Tens Frames Playdough Activitiy

What’s the Time?

Use our Digital and Analogue Clock Template and flashcards with different times on them. Students create the hour and minute hand using playdough to show the time displayed on their flashcard.

I also laminated the template and used a whiteboard marker for the digital time.

Digital and Analogue Clock Activitiy

CVC Words

Use our CVC Words – Playdough Mats for students to practise writing and forming the words using playdough.

CVC Playdough Mats

Number, Word and Array

Using our Number, Word and Array Match-Up Worksheet, cut out all of the number and word pieces and throw away the array pieces. Instead, the students create the array using small balls of playdough!

Playdough Arrays

2D Shapes

Using our 2D Shapes Poster, students create each of the 2D shapes using playdough.

2D Shapes Poster

Place Value Activity

Using our Blank Hundreds Board, this is a fun place value game played in pairs. Each student picks two number flashcards and decides which number will be the ones and which will be the tens. They then cover that number with a small ball of playdough. Then, their partner randomly chooses two different numbers and does the same thing with different coloured playdough.

As a class you can decide who the winner is. Perhaps it is the person who gets three balls of playdough in a row.

Hundreds Board Activity

3D Objects

Provide students with a poster of 3D Objects. Students then create 3D objects using the playdough.

3D Objects Playdough


Using a cookie cutter and a ruler. Students need to create different fractions when you call them out!


Sight Words Playdough

Using some sight word flashcards. Students create each word using playdough. Let them get creative and use a variety of colours!

Sight Word Playdough Activity

We would love to hear from you…how do you use playdough in the classroom?

Do you have a secret recipe you could share with us?

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