Small World Playdough Play for Kids

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Small World Playdough Play for Kids -- What a fun way to incorporate playdough into a pretend play for children!

We gave some small world playdough play a whirl recently in between snow play sessions outside. While we often use playdough for modeling, creating, and just as a great sensory experience, the kids also use it for pretend play. This most often means they make food out of the playdough for tea parties, cupcake stores, or living room picnics, but this time they incorporated figurines for some small world play.

Playdough Play for Kids

It started off fairly simply, with a few princess figurines, a few little animals, a couple sets of wooden snowmen and trees (from Mama May i), some snow (polyfill stuffing that came with the snowmen), and some wood craft sticks.

Small World Pretend Play for Kids

The snowmen and trees were placed on the edge of a frozen pond (a a blue art mat) with a fawn looking on.

Small World Playdough Play for Kids with Figurines

The kids used the playdough as bases for the trees and figurines, as hills and other land forms, as houses, and more.

Small World Playdough Play for Kids

I love how the playdough was seamlessly incorporated into their small world play, adding a new level of creative play to the entire experience.

Small World Playdough Play for Kids

The playdough also provided a base for what was first a house built out of the wood craft sticks, then a teepee.

Have your kids incorporated figurines and such into their playdough play? If not, you might want to try setting out some animal and people figurines, matchbox cars, etc out with some playdough and a few open-ended add ins (polyfill “snow,” wood craft sticks, pipe cleaners, toothpicks) and see what they come up with.

We used our favorite homemade playdough recipe, but you could use any playdough, homemade or commercial, of course.

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  1. says

    I have vague memories of doing this when I was a kid, too! Love it.
    Thanks for sharing. I’m going to set out these things this morning…
    Sarah M

    • says

      How wonderful that you have memories of doing this when you were a kid, Sarah!

      Did you end up setting the playdough and other things out this morning? How did it go?

      • says

        My daughter is playing right now with buttons, fabric, cutting tools and playdoh and really enjoying it. We are having 2 other kiddos over later, so I think I’ll set it all back out, again this afternoon!
        Sarah M

  2. says

    My son’s favorite thing to do with play dough is make roads, hills and parking lots for his little trucks and cars. He tried some wooden trains too but the glue came apart when we were trying to soak the dried play dough off so we stick with things that can be washed easily.

    • says

      Oh, cool! I never thought to use playdough with cars and trucks… I’d love to see a photo of that! We don’t have too many little cars around this house, but a few — maybe I’ll bring them out with the playdough next time and see what happens. Thanks, Emily!

  3. says

    We love playdough at our studio! We usually put out small plastic animals, and use the big popsicle sticks as well as swapping out other tools each week. The kids really get into their imaginative play worlds and never get bored with it. Thanks for sharing your “small world” ideas.

    Also – where did you get those large art mats? They are a great size. Thanks!

  4. says

    Pretend play is my favorite when I was a little girl. And thanks for the homemade playdough recipe. Can’t wait to try it and have fun with my little girls :-)