Playdough Imprints. Texture and Pattern Exploration

May 7, 2012


On top of the sensory experience, this playdough imprinting activity also encourages development of fine motor skills, language skills, processes, exploration and textural differences. All important for children learning about the world around them.  

Ages: My 3 year old loved this activity but it's suitable for toddlers through to school age.

kids activities, activities for children, playdough activity, playdoh activity, learning about textures, pattern playdough, texture playdough

 Materials: Playdough and a variety of different materials collected from around your house that will create different textures and patterns.

I set it out here as an Invitation to Play.


 Imprinting with Rubberbands, Pipecleaner, Comb and strip of Packing material (polystyrene wrap)


 Imprinting with Beaded Necklace, Bubblewrap, Duplo brick, Foam


 Straight into it


 Realising that it should be flat first


 It made a slight fuzz texture and the rectangular shape. She wasn't all that impressed


 How about the duplo?


 One side looked like that. What about the other side?


 Oooh, this looked cool! We noticed how the thin yellow playdough appeared green on top of the blue mat


 We assumed this one would just come out with holes in it. The extra textures inside the holes was unexpected and delightful. She noticed each one was different. These were due to the creases



 The beads made different prints depending on how they were pressed into the playdough



 Because of how thin this material way, the biggest imprint was from fingers!


 Here we talked about grooves and ridges. It also made dots. Very cool


 This left quite a fuzzy texture and she noted the imprint could be in any shape she desired



 I wasn't expecting her to put the rubber band on like this


 She enjoyed looking at and touching the variety of patterns and textures. They were all so different


 Ask your child, which was their preferred/favourite pattern/texture. Why?


 Then I sent her on a hunt to find things around the house that she wanted to test the pattern and texture of. This is what she returned with.


 So many exciting and varied prints. The ideas that came to mind from this were endless...




How else can you play with these materials?


Handy Tips:

- Extend this activity by asking your child to predict what they think the imprint will look like. What different textures and patterns can they achieve with the same material?

- Create a picture or pattern using the different indentations from various materials

- Use new language and descriptive words like, "textures," "grooves," "ridges," "indentations" etc This will help with their language development.

-Ask questions to help connect their understanding using vocabulary to give them words to describe what they're experiencing, eg. "What pattern do you think this will leave?" "What shapes can you see on this material?" "What would happen if you pressed the other side in the playdough?" "How could you make a different texture with this material" etc

- Listen to your child talk as they go through their experiences. This will help you determine where they are at with their learning, knowledge and understanding and help you to develop the activity (or future activities) to their level and interests.

- Repeat. This activity can be repeated time and time again with a different end result each time. Mix around and change some of the materials that you provide each time to inspire new ideas


Debs :)


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25 comments:

  1. Oh how fun! Quite a sensory experience too. My oldest daughter loves play dough, and this activity would surly captivate her.

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    1. Such an easy activity as well. (Especially if you send the kids to find their own materials to explore with) :D

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  2. I like this playdough idea because my toddler loves to play with playdough, but then wants me to do all the major work of pushing down the different characters to create whatever animal or shape is the result. Perhaps, this type of activity would get him to start doing the pushing and exploring himself!

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    1. All you can do is try Jenni. Hope he likes it! Thanks for the comment. Debs :)

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  3. You daughter came up with some great items to try out in the playdough! Love that you turned this into a deeper learning experience by discussing the textures, what you noticed, etc. What fun!

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  4. So many fun different tools! We love playdoh at our house. I need to buy a few new things we can dry and use. We love to use straws, buttons, legos, and we love to make letters and monsters with googly eyes! We need to try some of your new tool ideas though!

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    1. Well we need to make more monsters because googly eyes are a favourite here! I thought the comb and the duplo looked really cool... oooh, and the peg imprint haha. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Debs :)

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  5. I love some of these ideas. We are always looking for something new to do with play dough!

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    1. Thanks Bethany, glad you found a new idea. I love playdough and I'm always thinking about new ideas too :)

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  6. Playdough is a big hit around here. I'm always looking for fun ways of expanding the play a bit. I love all of these materials...especially the bubble wrap! Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Amanda. The bubble wrap looked cool! haha

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  7. What a fabulous idea. There are so many fun items around that would make great impressions. I love how this adds a new element to normal play dough play. I am pinning this. Vicky from www.messforless.net

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    1. Why thank you Vicky :) The ideas for playdough play are endless, which is lucky as playdough is extremely popular at our place.

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  8. Thank you for stopping by dreamswillfly.com! I love your blog and creative ideas!

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    1. You're welcome Renee. And thank you back for checking out mine, hah :D

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  9. What a super fun, simple idea! I love it!

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    1. Isn't it always the simple activities that keep them entertained for the longest!? Generally the rule is here, the longer I spend setting something up, the shorter amount of time it'll be engaged with. Typical hey! lol. Thanks for the comment Shiloh. Debs :)

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  10. what a fun collection of tools to use with this playdough! i pinned the dickens out of this post!

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  11. I love this playdough exploration and thank you so much for linking to Tuesday Tots this week. Just to let you know that I'm featuring this post in my round up from last week

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  12. I am just dropping back by to thank you for sharing this with Tuesday Tots last week :)

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  13. Debs I love this and will be trying it out with Miss Daisy tomorrow! :) Thanks so much for sharing!

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Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love reading them all.