Any kind of shaping or moulding helps with: hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills through all the squishing, squashing, pulling, rolling and cutting.
Take it a step further by moulding play dough letters. You child can learn letter shapes, place each shape on its own alphabet play dough mats. Then form the play dough into those shapes and place them on the mat.
Make the letter ‘sound’ and say the word that this letter begins with.
Soon your child will feel more familiar with the shapes of letters and how they are formed.
This educational craft activity comes with our FREE printable alphabet play dough mats.
Time: 10 minutes
Ages: Little kids to big kids
Difficulty to make: Easy peasy
Skill taught: Learning letter shapes, fine motor skills
Step 1: Print out these free play dough alphabet mats
Print out these animal play dough alphabet mats to get started.
We’ve included some of the first letters that your child will typically start learning at school.
Free print sheet for letters ‘a, s, n and i’
Free print sheet for letters ‘t and p’
Step 2: Colour in the animals
Colour in the animals using brightly coloured felt pens or colouring pencils.
Your child can start to notice the letter shapes and tell you the animals that are in the pictures.
Step 3: Laminate and add some dot stickers (optional)
If you want to re-use these sheets, you can laminate them and cut them into rectangles. You will end up with 6 separate letter cards.
If you don’t have a laminator you can cover each card with sticky backed plastic or simply pop them in a clear poly pocket.
This step is optional, it just makes the sheets more durable.
Add some dot stickers where you want your child to start when forming the letter.
This will help them learn where to begin when they write out their first letters but is also optional.
Step 4: Mould play dough letters
Your animal letter cards are ready for your child to play.
Ask them to pick a card and say the sound of the letter on the animal’s tummy.
If they don’t know it yet then tell them what letter sound is on the card. Sound it out together a few times.
Now ask them to roll a long sausage out of play dough or plasticine.
Show your child where to start on each letter (the dots help here). Begin moulding from that point to follow the outline on the letter card.
Mould it so that it makes the same shape as the letter and place it on the letter outline.
Step 5: Go through the letter sounds and the animal names
Look at your alphabet play dough mats with play dough letters and go through them one by one.
Sound out the letter a few times. Then say the name of the animal in the picture. Does it start with the same letter sound? ‘sss’ ‘sss’ is for ‘sssnake’.
What other words start with that sound?
‘sun’ ‘sink’ ‘sea’
Just by going over each one again you can reinforce their newly found learned knowledge.