Playdough and Clay Ideas and Recipes for Kids

Modeling with playdough, clay, and other doughs are a childhood favorite. We have lots of clay and playdough ideas for kids, including more than one excellent playdough recipe, playdough play ideas, an edible playdough recipe, ideas for using clay with kids, and recipes for other doughs.

Playdough Pretend Play Ideas

Pretend Play Ideas with Playdough - Cupcake decorating and more great ideas for pretend play with playdough

I don’t have a big post for you today; just wanted to share some photos of the kids’ recent playdough creations and combine it with a list of more pretend play ideas for kids using playdough.

I don’t know about your kids, but when my kids play with playdough, it usually turns into a pretend play fest more often than simply sculpture or art…. 

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Peanut Butter Playdough (Or, how to make an edible, snail-riding, snow woman.)

Peanut Butter Playdough - (Or... how to make an edible snail-riding snow woman.)Have you made peanut butter playdough with your kids yet? It’s so quick and easy, which is a good thing since it is often requested in our home. We first made it after seeing this edible playdough post on Make and Takes several years ago and have made it regularly since. In fact, I think we’ve made peanut butter playdough three times in the last two months!

The kids make “food” with their edible playdough. Kinda funny, but the food in question was spaghetti and meatballs, hot dogs, hamburgers, and cupcakes.

And they make faces and people.

And a snail-riding snow woman. (We recently watched both The Neverending Story and um, I’m blanking on the name of the other movie we watched that had a snail as steed. Help me out someone? It’s a newish movie about a forest fairy world…)

I thought I’d share our favorite peanut butter playdough recipe as well as some recent pics of the playdough in action.

Peanut Butter Playdough Recipe

Peanut Butter Playdough Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup honey (just enough to make it stick together)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl with an electric mixer. It’s as easy as that!

Note: We’ve tried a number of variations on the peanut butter playdough, sometimes including a cup of powdered milk in place of a cup of the powdered sugar, sometimes adding cocoa powder for a more chocolate-y experience, etc, but we usually come back to this basic recipe.

However, the lovely ladies at Kids Activities Blog recently shared that you can mix peanut butter with marshmallows for a tasty, two-ingredient edible playdough. I haven’t exactly shared that newsflash with my kids yet, because I know I wouldn’t hear the end of it until we went to the store for big, puffy marshmallows and made the stuff. I won’t hold out forever, but I’m keeping that one up my sleeve for a special treat.

Peanut Butter Playdough for Kids

Once the peanut butter playdough is mixed together (usually by the kids), we divide it out between the number of children in the house at the time, placing each ball of dough on a clean plastic placemat, and let them go at it.

Peanut Butter Playdough for Kids

Sometimes they just make things with the playdough itself, sometimes they include pretzel sticks (ever since we made peanut butter pretzel nests, they think pretzels should usually accompany peanut butter playdough), sometimes toothpicks, raisins, mini-chocolate chips, etc.

Peanut Butter Playdough

As for tools, a butter knife is sometimes handy. But mostly they like to use their hands. And the garlic press (for awesome spaghetti, hair, and just plain interesting designs).

(The bowl of spaghetti and meatballs above was made with a peanut butter playdough recipe that included both powdered milk and cocoa powder, btw.)

Peanut Butter Playdough for Kids

They love modeling with the peanut butter playdough AND they love eating their peanut butter playdough creations. Even the snail-riding snow women.

Peanut Butter Playdough for Kids

Have you made peanut butter playdough? Or another edible playdough recipe?  Please share your experience, favorite recipe, link, or ideas in the comments!

P.S. For those families with peanut allergies, here’s a list of 10 edible playdough recipes on Family Corner, many of which don’t include any nuts.

A Keepsake Handprint Plaque by Memories in Clay

Capture their childhood with a keepsake handprint plaque - we used a kit and it was super easy!We moms like to preserve the precious hands of our children. Look at the popularity of handprint kits, crafts, ornaments, and gifts! We want to remember just how small they were, just how unique.

I’m no different. When Maia was just a couple months old, I invited another mom and her baby over to make sweet baby handprints and footprints. I remember painting their tiny hands and feet then pressing them to paper. I sent some of the prints to grandparents and great grandparents and kept some for myself as a keepsake.

The thing about children’s hands, though, is that they keep growing! And you want to capture the teeny-tiny baby hands, the toddler hands that are into everything, and the “I’m a big kid now” five-year-old’s hands.

So you can imagine that when Memories in Clay, now one of my blog sponsors, invited me to try out their process of making clay plaques out of children’s handprints, I said, “Yes, please!” What mom wouldn’t want a keepsake plaque of their children’s hands?

As I have two daughters, we decided to go with a sisters plaque and have both of their handprints together with their names.

I wanted to share photos of the process, since I think its rather unique, then I’ll show you the girls’ reaction to receiving the finished plaque in the mail, and finally a photo of the plaque in their room.

The process of making the handprint plaques was very easy—basically a four-step process once we decided which plaque we wanted (there are lots of keepsake plaque options in the Memories in Clay shop).

How to Use the Handprint Keepsake Kit Step by Step Photos#1 Memories in Clay sent us a handprint kit with some special molding material, a tube for rolling it out, aluminum foil, a prepaid and addressed return envelope, and simple instructions.

#2 We rolled out the molding material on a sheet of foil using the tube provided. Maia and I took turns doing this. It wasn’t hard to roll out, but I wanted to make sure it was evenly rolled and also that it was big enough to hold both their hands.

#3 The kids pressed their hands into the material, side by side. I helped coordinate the arrangement before they placed their hands down. We did it in one try, but the nice thing about this kit and the molding material is that if you don’t like the first attempt, you can roll it out again and make a new handprint. As many times as you want.

#4 I baked the handprints in the oven following the instructions provided, let them cool, then popped them into the return envelope and put it out for the mailman to pick up. Easy peasy.

(You can read more about the process of making the handprint plaques, including what happens after you send in the mold, on the Memories in Clay site.)

A Keepsake Handprint Plaque by Memories in Clay

A few weeks later we received another package from Memories in Clay, this time with our finished clay plaque! I don’t know who was more impressed and excited by the handprint plaque—me or the girls.

A Keepsake Handprint Plaque by Memories in Clay

They tested their hands against the relief handprints, commented on how it was like their real hands, and spent a lot of time smiling and giggling.

The handprint plaque in the girls bedroom

We hung the plaque in their bedroom, between their two beds—the perfect place for a special plaque commemorating their sisterhood.

A Sisters Keepsake Handprint Plaque

If you’d like a keepsake handprint plaque of your own, Memories in Clay makes the entire process easy. We are so happy with the plaque they made for us! There are a variety of keepsake plaque options available in their shop—everything from newborn baby hand and footprint plaques (with birth date, time, weight, etc), mommy and me handprint plaques (and daddy and me plaques, too, of course!), sibling plaques, handprint ornaments, and “Best Grandparents Hands Down!” plaques.

Who wouldn’t want a keepsake plaque of their children’s hands? I think this is such a lovely thing to do for yourself, for your children, or as a gift.

Memories in Clay is offering $10 off orders placed through the end of the day Sunday, February 23rd with the discount code ARTFUL.

Note: The process takes a little while, so plan ahead for Mother’s Day and all that. This isn’t a last-minute gift.

Memories in Clay is an Artful Parent sponsor; all opinions expressed are my own.

Small World Playdough Play for Kids

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.

This post contains affiliate links.

Heart Sculptures :: A Great Valentine’s Day Craft & Gift!

Heart Sculptures -- A fun Valentine's Day craft and gift. Would make a great paperweight

We had so much fun with the plaster balloon sculptures, that we made them again the next day. This time, we (I, mostly) focused on seeing if we could shape the plaster-filled balloons into hearts.

And yes! It worked!

So now we have some sturdy plaster heart sculptures and have plans to make even more as Valentine's gifts. (I think they'd do great double-duty as paperweights.)

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Plaster Balloon Sculptures with Kids

Plaster Balloon Sculptures with Kids -- So fun! You have to try this!We made sculptures the other day with balloons, plaster of Paris, and four giggling children. The whole process and experience was awesome and was the perfect antidote to the freezing weather outside.

Let me just say right now that you have to try this. It takes a bit of prep, but is so worth it! 

I found the idea and instructions for the plaster balloon sculptures on First Palette, pinned it ages ago, and have been meaning to give it a try since.

So glad we finally did!

By the way, I recommend you read the step-by-step instructions at First Palette if you're going to do this project. They are excellent and specific.

We did ours slightly differently (mostly to make the plaster mixing & pouring easier), but not by too much.

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Playdough Monsters & Other Fun Ideas with Poke-Ins

Playdough Monsters with Pipe Cleaners and Googly Eyes -- A fun kids art activity for Halloween!

We made a new batch of glittery playdough the other day, packaged half of it up with a few fun poke-ins (googly eyes, pipe cleaner sections, feathers, etc) to give to a friend who was turning 4, then set to work creating monsters and more with our half.

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10 Arts and Crafts Activities to Try with Plaster of Paris

10 Kids Arts and Crafts Activities to Try with Plaster of Paris -- everything from playdough casting to plaster ghosts!

Plaster of Paris is a fun material to work with. It starts out as a powder, you mix it with water to make a thick gooey liquid that you can pour, color, shape, or press fun things into, then it dries fairly quickly into whatever shape you've chosen.

Here are some fun kids arts and crafts projects to try with plaster of Paris. The first 5 we've tried and loved. The second 5 look awesome and are on our list to try soon.

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Modeling with Sculpt It Air Dry Clay

Modeling with Sculpt It Air Dry Clay - How it ComparesHello, my friends. It’s been a while. Yet again.

I dislike prefacing all my posts with apologies for my absence, but I’m still getting my act together. (I hope. Trying anyway…)

Every time I sit down at the computer to write, I find myself out in the garden, barefoot, planting and weeding, mulching and thinking. Or curled up on the sofa reading stories with my kiddos while it rains outside (it’s been raining a LOT).

I’d like to say we’ve been doing loads of art, but besides chalkboard drawings and some clay modeling, the art making has been rather sparse lately as well.

So today, while a 10-year-old friend is baking with the kids in the kitchen, I thought I’d write about an air dry clay we tried, oh, a couple months ago.

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