Playdough Monsters (And Other Fun Ideas with Poke-Ins)

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Wondering what are you going to do with the “small stuff” you have been picking up and collecting from all over your house like buttons, lego parts, beads, pipe cleaners and a lot more? Use them on these playdough monsters that are fun and simple sensory activity for kids!

Playdough Monsters

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.

Playdough Monsters 09

Daphne’s monsters were masterpieces of scary abstraction.

The kids have made playdough monsters before. It seems to be a favorite, especially around Halloween. And playdough lends itself so well to creating amorphous shapes and poking in extra eyes and appendages.

Playdough Faces with Googly Eyes and Pipe Cleaners

Maia started off making monsters, then made a funny twin boy and girl (same face, different hair)…

Playdough Monsters 15

…and a centipede.

As much as the kids like shaping the playdough with their hands, they seem to like poking things into it even more.

This post contains affiliate links.Here’s a list of their favorite playdough poke-ins:

Playdough Monsters 11

Pipe cleaners are used for everything from antennae and hair to legs, stripes, and (since they bend easily) facial features.

Birthday cakes are often made in our house (doesn’t this one look delicious?!) and so we keep some candles in the playdough drawer.

Playdough Pretend Play 4

But toothpicks work just as well. And are also great for forming hair or porcupine quills.

Playdough Cake 01

Melted bead suncatcher disks are sometimes used as cookies or candy, and here form the center of a flower.

Playdough Pretend Play 1

Beads are treasured for decorating cupcakes, cakes, and cookies. They also make great features for playdough snowmen and gingerbread men.

What is your family’s favorite “poke ins” for playdough?

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Playdough Monsters

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Sarah M
    October 11, 2013 at 10:30 am

    We will totally try this today. We have a slow day ahead. We’ve finished our second batch of Leaf Doodling (with modge podge) for the second year in a row. My kids just LOVE that activity! Thanks for all your inspiration. I know my kids will love this one.
    Sarah M

  • Reply
    earleyml
    October 11, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I think I’m definitely going to try this with my girls! Just this week the teacher of my oldest told me that they use toothpicks and playdough to practice writing their letters, more fine motor skill practice. Didn’t realize playdough could be used for so much fun.

  • Reply
    Kirstylee
    October 11, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    This looks so fun! My kids are just getting into sticking things into playdough. I’ll definitely have to make a new batch and add some of your suggested add ins.

  • Reply
    eileen
    October 11, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    In addition to those mentioned, straws are wonderful – bent, snipped or made really thin like beads. An additional tool I love is a garlic press. Great hand strengthening and pretend play “hair”, “spaghetti” “worms”, etc.
    Eileen

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    My kids love the leaf doodling, too! It’s a must-do for us each fall.
    Hope your family likes the monster playdough activity!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 11, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    There are definitely LOTS of ways you can use playdough!! My older daughter has formed letters with playdough, but not with toothpicks. Do you mean using a toothpick to draw in the playdough? Or connect toothpicks with little bits of playdough to form letters? I’m having trouble visualizing how this would work…

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 11, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Yay for a new batch of playdough!! :)

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 11, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Oh, yes! We love the garlic press for playdough! I haven’t gotten it out in a while though. Thanks for the reminder! And we haven’t really used straws with playdough (except to make playdough worms) so we’ll have to give that a try. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Maureen
    October 13, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    We are doing this right now! My 5 year old has cranked out 3 very different monsters while the 2 year old is very focused on making her one monster totally fabulous. thank you so much for the inspiration!

  • Reply
    Annie
    October 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Thanks for this idea–my 4 yr old daughter loved it!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 20, 2013 at 8:05 am

    So glad!!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 20, 2013 at 8:05 am

    You’re welcome, Maureen!

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