Toddlers and preschoolers will love this Christmas Playdough Activity! They can make and decorate pretend Christmas cookies with this homemade play dough and a few crafty odds and ends.
Last week’s “Build a Snowman Activity Tray” was such a big hit here in my daycare that I decided to do a similar activity this week, with homemade play dough.
I set up a Playdough Christmas Cookie Activity Tray filled with items that the children could use to make and decorate play dough “Christmas Cookies”.
I had 3 girls here this morning, and they played with it for close to 2 hours.
And I have to admit that I was right in there with them. I love decorating cookies, so I adored this activity as much as they did.
I’ll start by telling you how we made our play dough, and then I’ll list all of the items that went into the activity tray.
The best homemade play dough recipe:
It really is the best play dough recipe I’ve ever used.
It’s soft and supple, and stored in an air tight container, it will stay soft for months. I
f you find the dough to be too wet at first, just keep kneading it. It takes a few minutes to work all the water in, and get it to the right consistency.
Make a few colours
When we’d mixed our play dough, before colouring any of it, I split the batch into three balls.
I left one ball white, and I lightly tinted the other two with Wilton Icing Gels. I kneaded a bit of pink into one ball, and a touch of blue into the other. I wanted the colours to be soft and delicate – perfect for making dainty delicacies. 🙂
Add some glitter!
To make it sparkle and shine, I added a generous sprinkle of super-fine glitter.
Yep, that’s right!
I, self-admitted glitter-phobe, have used glitter twice in the past couple of weeks recently!Check out the gorgeous painted and glittered CD ornaments we made last week!
I think the ticket for me is to use the super-fine glitter. It really isn’t the nightmare that regular glitter is.
Plus, when you’re using glitter in playdough, it’s a dream. The playdough contains it, so it doesn’t make a mess everywhere, and it adds such a wonderfu shimmer to your dough.
While our play dough cooled, and the girls had their snack, I filled a sectioned tray with lots of goodies from the craft room:
What I put in our Christmas Cookie Play Dough Activity Tray:
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- dried black beans
- dried white beans
- bits of metallic ribbon and rick-rack
- colourful buttons
- pony beads
- pipe cleanerschopped into small pieces
- Christmas cookie cutters
- small rolling pins
Then I set it all out on a vinyl table cloth on the coffee table in our living room. Truth be told, it wasn’t a table cloth, it was the protective table-pad for my dining room table. It’s huge, but I folded it in half and tucked the excess under the coffee table. It was perfect.
Then we got down to business making and decorating our play dough Christmas cookies!
Play dough is such a great form of sensory play because all that rolling, pinching, squeezing and squishing is wonderful for developing little hand muscles.
The girls were in heaven with this activity.
They rolled, patted and shaped their cookies. We had cookies of all shapes and sizes going on: reindeer, and Christmas trees, candy canes and stars, and lots of hand shaped button cookies.
And they had a lovely time adding bows and buttons and all the other colourful odds and ends from the tray.
It was so much fun that the girls came right back to the table after nap-time, and played decorated a new batch of play dough until it was time for them to go home.
I’m pretty we’ll be spending quite a bit of time playing with our Christmas cookie play dough activity throughout the next few weeks leading up to the holidays.
And why not? Wouldn’t you want to play with this too?
For more fun and easy Christmas activities, check out:
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. In 1997, Jackie stepped out of the corporate world to start a family and to open her own home daycare. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.