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Playdough is a great tool for working on object association and building upon your child’s understanding of objects and their use, or object function. For example, your child will learn that a hairbrush is used for brushing hair or that scissors are used to cut paper (or hair – oh no!).

Activity #1: Make Familiar, Functional Objects with Playdough

Pillows and Bed made with playdough
Pillows and Bed
Brush made with playdough
Ladder made with playdough

You and your child can make familiar objects from playdough that have a specific function or use. Take turns making objects and have the other person guess what it is. When your child is ready, you may also provide clues to help them guess, such as “it is made of wool, they come in a pair, and we wear them on our feet- socks!”

List of functional objects: Clothing (socks, gloves, scarf, shoes, hat, belt, etc.), sunglasses, ring, necklace, oven, fridge, utensils (fork, spoon, knife), measuring cup, glass, mug, broom, mop, bed, pillow, bathtub, chair, clock, watch, telephone, camera, doorbell, books, scissors, ruler, glue, tape, pencil, crayons, paintbrush, needle and thread, umbrella, flashlight, washcloth, soap, shampoo, hairbrush, toothbrush, lipstick, hammer, nail, ladder, key, car, bike, hose, shovel, rake, money, band aid and food.

Activity #2: Use Familiar Objects with Playdough

You can also use familiar and functional objects found in the home to make some interesting playdough creations with your child. When using these objects, label them and talk about their function. Talk about what you are doing when making your creation and encourage your child to do the same. E.g., “I am rolling the playdough with the glass. It is smooth and is good for flattening the playdough.” Refer to your child’s APSEA service plan to target specific vocabulary, concepts or word structures.

The pictures below demonstrate how you can use a glass, fork, ruler, marker cap and an old toothbrush to make a playdough person.

Steps to creating a person with playdough

Household items that can be used to make imprints: Glass (cup, mug), utensils (fork, spoon), ruler, keys, old toothbrush, hairbrush, pasta, children’s toys (blocks, dinosaurs, plastic bugs, trucks- tire tracks, plastic jewelry, etc.) and leaves.