5 Hand-On PlayDough Activities For Preschool Kids To Develop Fine Motor Skills (Part 1)

Playdough is easy yet fun for different kids ages. There are several developmental benefits to playing with playdough, such as sensory exploration and developing fine motor skills. Explore 5 easy hand-on playdough activities for toddlers in this post.

Flatten playdough with hands or a rolling pin

Flatten playdough is the most basic activity for babies. It provides not only some nice shoulder and arm strengthening practice but also gives babies a great opportunity to improve some "heavy work" sensory input to their muscles. This is the first step to support the development of body awareness.

If you don't have a rolling pin, you can alternate it with a cup or any bottle. Simply use the side of the cup or bottle to roll playdough back and forth.

Play the dough with cookie cutters

Cookie-cutter will teach your kids about pressure and force. When they use a cookie-cutter, they can learn to use force when they push. And when they use less force, they'll create an imprint of the shape.


This is an important step to teach kids how to adjust the amount of force used when completing later school activities, for example, coloring, cutting, and writing. Also, with cookie-cutter, babies can make different shapes so it's a chance to know more shapes as well as gain their vocabulary.

Roll dough with hands

To practice using two hands together, this playdough activity is a good choice. Rolling a snake or ball can encourage symmetrical use of the hands as it is rolled out on the table, as well as asymmetrical use of the hands. When rolling out between the palms of both hands, children must move their hands back and forth in opposite directions. 

Seems simple, but for children, it's quite difficult. They need to secure the dough, move the hands back and forth without letting it fall out. Also, they must use enough pressure to squish the dough to make it “grow”. With a roll dough activity, children will learn how to coordinate both hands. 

Practice cutting dough

To practice your preschooler using utensils for cutting, play dough time is a great chance now. Babies will learn to cut with the side of a fork before they know how to cut soft foods with a knife. 

In case you don't want your baby using folk, you can use an old plastic gift card and let kids cut playdough. It works as well and it doesn’t have sharp edges. This activity encourages children to use their problem-solving skills to figure out how to orient their hands and the plastic rectangle to cut the play dough. 

Poke playdough with fingers

Using fingers to poke the dough helps children learn the ability to move each finger, one at a time. This is the first step to develop some important things, such as using a writing instrument, typing, playing a musical instrument, and much more.


Some activities with hands you can guide your baby:

  • Poke play dough with individual fingers
  • Make holes in the dough
  • Breaking off small piếc of play dough and roll it


Playdough is a great learning resource for babies. It's also affordable, or you can make playdough yourself. With these playdough activities, your child can get lots of benefits in their development process.