Here’s a super Valentines activity for toddlers and preschoolers! Your kids will have a blast making and creating with this playdough “Candy Shop”.
The hooligans have been playing with our homemade play dough every day lately. We’ve had all kinds of neat play dough activities going on, and I’ll write about those in the days to come. Today, our play dough activity was a pretend Valentines Candy Shop.
For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links.
The best no-cook play dough recipe:
I always use this play dough play dough recipe from the Imagination Tree when I make my play dough. Anna has a fabulous collection of play dough recipes! Last year, for Valentines Day, we made her chocolate play dough. It was divine!
How I colour my play dough:
I actually made this particular batch of play dough months ago. It was originally orange. When I got it out the other day, it hadn’t been played with in weeks, and it was as fresh as the day I made it. So rather than make a new batch of play dough, I decided to use what I already had.
I simply split it into 4 equal portions, and I added some Wilton Icing Gels to tint 3 of the portions. I left one portion orange, and the others, I tinted pink, red and purple. Perfect Valentines play dough!
Then it was time to set up shop.
Supplies for a Play Dough Candy Shop:
- pink, purple and red playdough
- muffin tin /mini muffin tin
- small spoons and scoops
- preschool scissors
- pate knives or plastic knives
- glass beads
- plastic ice crystals
- foam hearts
Let the fun begin!
Whats so great about play dough?
Playdough is one of my favourite activities for developing fine motor skills and hand and upper limb muscles. You can read about some of the benefits of playing with dough and clay over at Childhood 101. All that rolling, patting, squishing and squeezing gives muscles a real work out, and pinching, snipping and decorating their creations requires concentration, fine motor control and hand-eye co-ordination.
Best tools to use when playing with play dough:
A variety of tools and instruments will really allow your child to explore. If you’ve read 5 scissor exercises for children, you already know that I love pairing up scissors and play dough. A few more of my favourite play dough tools are: tongs and tweezers for lifting and transferring, spoons and scoops for digging and serving serving, and pate knives or plastic knives for cutting and spreading.
Containers like small bowls, ice cube trays, muffin tins, small plates, egg cups etc. are fun to create in.
Accessories for play dough play:
A selection of baubles to decorate their creations make things extra-fun. For today’s play dough activity we’ve used glass beads and plastic ice crystals. You could also use pony beads, glitter, drinking straws, coloured pasta, coloured rice, tooth picks, craft sticks, birthday candles, craft gems, sea shells… the sky is the limit really.
The girls will spend hours in the days to come creating and decorating their Valentines play dough “treats”.
What a terrific activity! I’m sure we’ll play with our Valentine’s Candy Shop a lot this week, but that’s it for today. This afternoon, the hooligans want to work on their Valentine’s cards!
For more of our engaging play dough activities, check out our:
Get my latest e-book: Fizz, Pop, Bang! Playful Science and Math Activities
40 hands-on, learning activities for kids ages 3-8. Recipes, experiments, art projects, printables and play ideas with links to 80 activities not featured in the book. Regularly $9.99, on sale for $7.99 until Nov. 9/14.
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.