Playdough learning activities are always a favorite at our preschool time. These Number Playdough Mats have so many benefits – read more to learn why.
Benefits of Playdough
As we like to focus on our STEAM Preschool Activities – we’ve also been veering off into activities focused in one subject area i.e. this playdough learning activity is all about Preschool Math. Anytime I pull out playdough I know I’ve got my preschooler engaged and interested in the activity for the morning.
While your preschooler and kindergartener are learning you want to also create an environment of engaging all of their senses if possible! These seven benefits aid in children learning when playing with playdough:
- Enhances fine motor skill – When the preschooler or early learner takes playdough and squishes, rolls, flattens, shapes, scores or cuts play dough, they develop and strengthen hand muscles. The strengthened hand muscles helps improve fine motor skills of your child
- Improves pre-writing skills– Playing with play dough will strengthen her/his pincer grip (the squeezing of pointer finger and thumb to grasp an object) improves i.e. for a pencil/crayon/marker etc
- Creativity and imagination– The unlimited possibilities of molding play dough into food, animals, shapes, people, flowers etc. This encourages your child to use his imagination and inspires his creativity.
- Calming effect– Sitting at one place and molding play dough in their hands will have a very calming and soothing effect.
- Develops hand – eye coordination
- Social skills
- Increases curiosity and knowledge
During our preschool time playdough is usually what my preschooler asks for. Many times I let her use her imagination and play with it however she wants to. Then there are other times where we will do playdough learning activities like with these playdough number mats.
Through fine motor skills the preschoolers hands develop the strength, dexterity, and control needed to manipulate everyday items such as scissors, pencils, zippers, and buttons. All of the rolling, squeezing, pinching and patting is great for their little hands and fingers.
I know teachers and mamas it can make a mess…but I’m telling you the benefits are out of this world for those little ones! Over look the mess for the sake of these preschool hands and fingers!
Playdough Number Mats 1-20
- Tell a story – let them create “apples” (balls) for the trees, according to the number that is on the playdough mat. Then let them create a snake that “eats” the apples from the tree and places them in the squares. They will be counting as well as using number recognition and listening skills through this playdough learning activity.
- Use only teen numbers – I know this is the hardest family of numbers for the early learners to grasp…so we’ve spent extra time on learning, recognizing and counting the teen family.
- Counting – Use the mats solely for counting verbally and not just by rote!
Get your set of –> Number Playdough Mats 1-20 I’m breaking the files into two sections (a pdf file of Numbers 1-10 and a pdf file of numbers 11-20) incase you are like me wanting to focus on a specific number “family”. As I mentioned our main focus and struggle is currently the teen family so our learning is focused towards that number family right now.
Items needed to do the Playdough Learning Activity:
- Playdough – (this is our favorite –> here)
- Number Mats
- Optional: Laminate with Laminator for extended use
If you don’t have access to store bought playdough – make your own. This would be a really fun activity to do with your preschooler or kindergartener anyway. I know my 4 year old loves getting in the kitchen with me!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour.
- 3/4 cup salt.
- 4 teaspoons cream of tartar.
- 2 cups lukewarm water.
- 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil (coconut oil works too)
- Food coloring, optional.
- Quart sized bags.
To get the how to and more insights on this homemade playdough recipe visit I Heart Naptime here. She gives a lot of insight on making it yourself, how long it lasts, adding colors or scents and the quantity this recipe makes!
Additional Playdough Learning Activities:
- Engineering Activity – Cheerio Towers – letting the preschoolers use playdough to create a foundation to their tower and engineer a cheerio tower
- 3 Dinosaurs – Free Shape Playdough Mats – These are simple and easy to set up and use. Each mat has one shape with two lines around for kids to use for the playdough area.
- Ladybug Playdough Activity – The Art Kit Blog – Place the ladybug printable inside a dry erase pocket (or laminate it) and invite your child to recreate the ladybug using playdough. You could also incorporate number cards by placing a number card on their work surface and asking them to place that particular number of spots on their ladybug.