My Favourite Playdough Mats!
Guys, I love playdough!
Homemade or store-bought, scented or sparkly, taste safe or traditional… no matter the dough, I will end up playing with it just as much as my kids.
There’s something so therapeutic about squishing, rolling, and shaping playdough to try and make your vision come to life, no matter your age. This is one of the few activities I always say ‘yes’ to when my children ask me to play!
On top of being a fun activity, playdough is an amazing developmental tool that provides children a sensorial, tactile feedback, as well as developing fine motor skills, creativity, and hand-eye coordination.
Whether you’re supporting numeracy and literacy or promoting imagination and playtime, one of my favourite ways to enhance playdough play are homemade play mats!
There’s many ways to extend playdough play, but DIY mats are customizable, cleanable, and reusable. They can be added to a playdough station to incorporate learning concepts and encourage independence.
They are SO easy to make, and can help promote your child’s creative ideas during playdough play (further than just the love of mixing every colour of playdough you have together)!
How do you make them? The easiest way is to find the mats you love, print them out (colour is best when appropriate!) and then either laminate them (my preferred method) or place them in clear plastic sleeves (the type you’d put in a binder).
*Bonus tip – they can also be used with dry erase markers, which adds so much more life and value to these mats!
What playdough mats do you make?!
You’re in luck! Here are some of my favourite FREE printable playdough mats that my kids have LOVED and gone back to over and over:
Alphabet Playdough Mats by 123 Homeschool 4 Me
What a fun way for your child to learn their alphabet letters, uppercase and lowercase alike! These mats can also be used with playdough and dry erase markers if you like, with large letters to trace with playdough, and two lines at the bottom to trace with dry erase markers – win win!
Counting to 10 Tree Playdough Mats by Life Over C’s
I love that this playdough mat has 3 activities in one mat per number! Depending on your child’s stage in numeracy development, they can trace the number, decorate the tree with flowers or apples correlating to the number, and use the ten-frame on the mat to play around with addition possibilities.
Monster Playdough Mats by Coffee Cups and Crayons
These mats are great for your child to create their own cute or spooky monster. Give them some extras like googly eyes, pipe cleaners, or gems, and see what they can create!
Name Tracing Worksheet Printable by Create Printables
Even though this was made to help children learn to write, why not have your child trace their name, or any word of your choosing, in playdough? Giving your child exposure to their name helps them with letter recognition, and eventually identifying their written name.
Summer Playdough Mats by Tots Schooling
These cute summer-themed mats give your child prompts to help finish the picture, such as decorating a beach or putting food on the grill! Plus, they have great mats for the other seasons, too!
Shape Playdough Mats by 3 Dinosaurs
This is a great hands-on idea for teaching your child shapes! These simple mats can be used by your child tracing the shape, filling the shape, or even making the shape into something. From circles to parallelograms, you can expose your child to 12 different shapes.
Food Playdough Mats (and more!) by Pickle Bums
It was so hard to pick just one theme of mats from this blog because they have so many amazing ones! My kiddos LOVE the food-themed ones, especially the dinner plate one and decorating their own cake. Some other amazing themes I found were pirate, gardening, and bugs!
Faces Playdough Mats by Kidlutions
There are tons of mats with blank faces and bodies out there that you can grab, but I really love these ones because of the inclusion! There are eight options with differing genders, hair colour/styles, and skin tones. Have your child play with expressing different feelings on the mats and even using them to talk about emotions with your child.
There is a whole world of playdough mats out there! So if there’s something specific you want to work on with your child, or a certain subject your child is currently obsessed with, there is a mat out there somewhere for you!
I hope you find some here from these suggestions and add this lovely (reusable) resource into your toolbelt.
(And when your spouse sees you go out and buy yourself a laminator, you can blame me for it!)
Enjoy your playdough time!