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Published Apr 16, 2024 ⦁ 11 min read
Play Doh Experiment Ideas for Busy Parents

Play Doh Experiment Ideas for Busy Parents

Looking for quick, educational, and fun Play Doh activities for kids? Here's a roundup of experiments that busy parents can easily set up to engage their children in learning through play. From exploring color mixing and making homemade Play Doh to conducting electricity with Play Doh circuits and creating explosive volcano eruptions, these activities offer a hands-on approach to understand basic scientific principles. Additionally, making fossil imprints introduces a touch of history. Each experiment is designed to be straightforward, requiring minimal preparation and resources, making them perfect for busy schedules.

  • Color Mixing: Learn about primary and secondary colors by mixing Play Doh.
  • Homemade Play Doh Creation: A simple recipe to make your own Play Doh at home.
  • Electric Play Doh Circuits: Explore basic electricity concepts by creating circuits with Play Doh.
  • Play Doh Volcano Eruption: Witness a chemical reaction by making a Play Doh volcano.
  • Fossil Imprints with Play Doh: Create and learn about fossils using Play Doh.

These activities not only entertain but also educate, making learning about science fun and accessible.

1. The Science of Color Mixing

Playing with Play-Doh to see how colors mix is a great way for kids to learn about colors. Here are some easy ways to explore colors together:

  • Begin with the 3 main colors - red, blue, and yellow Play-Doh. Show your child how to roll them into balls and press them together to make new colors:
    • Red + Blue = Purple
    • Red + Yellow = Orange
    • Blue + Yellow = Green
  • After they get the hang of mixing to make these new colors, try combining a main color with a new one to see what happens:
    • Red + Purple = A kind of reddish-purple
    • Blue + Green = A bluish-green
    • Yellow + Orange = A yellowish-orange
  • Talk about how adding white Play-Doh can make colors lighter and black can make them darker. Let them try it out and see what shades they can make.
  • Create a color wheel by rolling lines of each color into a circle shape. It's a cool visual way to show how colors work together.

This activity doesn't have strict rules. Let your child play around, see what happens when they mix colors, and ask questions like "What if you mix a little bit of one color with a lot of another?" or "Can you make a color no one has seen before?". It's all about having fun, being creative, and learning a bit about how colors work.

2. Homemade Play Doh Creation

Making your own play doh at home is a cool project that shows kids how mixing certain things together can create something new and fun. Here's a simple way to do it with your kids:


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Food coloring (optional)


  • In a big pot, mix together the flour, salt, and cream of tartar.
  • Add the water and oil, and if you like, a few drops of food coloring. Stir everything well.
  • Cook it over medium heat and keep stirring for about 3-5 minutes until it becomes a ball.
  • Take it off the heat and let it cool down a bit. Then, knead it with your hands until it's smooth.
  • Keep your play doh in a container or bag that doesn't let air in.

When you make play doh like this, kids get to see how the stuff in the kitchen can turn into play doh when you mix and heat them. They can try out different colors, add things like glitter for sparkle, or even mix in smells with essential oils. It's all about exploring and asking questions like, "What happens if we add this?"

This activity isn't just fun; it's also good for kids' hands. They practice moving their fingers while they make shapes, roll out the dough, and build whatever comes to their imagination. Plus, homemade play doh is perfect for all sorts of play - from pretending to run a bakery to building animals. It's a great way for kids to learn and play at the same time.

3. Electric Play Doh Circuits

Electric circuits with play doh are a cool way for kids to learn about electricity in a simple way. Here are some easy ideas for parents to try:

  • Light up sculptures - Let your child make something fun out of play doh, like an animal or a house. Stick the ends of an LED light into two different pieces of play doh and connect them to a battery. Watch their creation light up.
  • Conductivity testing - Find things around the house like coins, paper clips, or foil. Test to see if they can help light up the LED when they're put into the play doh. This shows which materials let electricity through.
  • Buzzing games - Instead of a light, use a small buzzer in your play doh setup. Your child can make play doh 'buttons' to push, making the buzzer go off. It's a fun way to send secret messages.
  • Squishy switches - Teach them how squishing play doh can turn a light on or off by changing the circuit. Let them try making different kinds of switches.
  • Shape tracing - Give them an LED on a stick to trace shapes or letters they make with play doh. It helps with learning letters and shapes.

Start with the basics, and let your child explore how the circuits work by playing. These simple electric play doh activities make science fun and easy to understand for kids!

4. Play Doh Volcano Eruption

Making a play doh volcano is a cool way to learn about how volcanoes work and see a fun chemical reaction. Here's an easy way to do it with your kids:

What You Need

  • Play doh (bright colors like red, orange, and yellow are great)
  • A small plastic bottle or a piece of cardboard tube
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Food coloring (if you want)
  • A tray or a big plate

How to Make the Volcano

  1. Use the play doh to make a volcano shape around the plastic bottle or cardboard tube. The top should have a hole that leads inside.

  2. In a bowl, mix some baking soda with water until it's a bit runny. You can add a drop of red food coloring to make it look more like lava.

  3. Pour this mixture into the top of your volcano.

  4. Now, pour a little vinegar into the same spot and watch what happens. The volcano will start to fizz and bubble, and "lava" will spill out!

You can play around with how much baking soda and vinegar you use to see different kinds of eruptions.

This activity is a fun way to show kids a simple science idea - how an acid (vinegar) and a base (baking soda) react to make gas, which looks like an erupting volcano. It's also a chance to talk about what happens when real volcanoes erupt and affect the areas around them. It's easy to set up and sure to be a hit!

5. Fossil Imprints with Play Doh

Making pretend fossils with play doh is a simple and fun way to learn about dinosaurs and ancient plants. Here's how you can do it:

What You'll Need

  • Play doh (any color works)
  • Small toys, pebbles, twigs, shells, etc.
  • A rolling pin (or you can just use your hands)


  1. Flatten the play doh with a rolling pin or your hands until it's about half an inch thick.

  2. Gently press objects like toy dinosaurs, leaves, or anything with an interesting shape into the play doh. Then, carefully lift them out.

  3. If you like, you can smooth the play doh out again lightly. When you peel back the top layer, you'll see the shapes left behind - just like real fossils!

  4. Have fun making up stories about your fossils. Who did they belong to? How did they get there? What was the world like back then?

This activity is a great way to get kids thinking like scientists, asking questions about the past and how things become fossils. It's a hands-on way to introduce them to a cool part of science history and spark their curiosity. Plus, it's just fun to see what kind of 'fossils' you can make!


These Play Doh experiment ideas are great for kids to have fun and learn at the same time, especially for parents who are always busy. Here's what to remember:

  • Play Doh activities help kids learn about science like mixing colors, what happens in chemical reactions, how electricity works, and more. They get to see these ideas come to life.
  • These activities let kids be creative as they make different shapes, create their own Play Doh, and explore. There's no right or wrong way to do it, so they can try out different things.
  • Playing with Play Doh is also good for developing skills. It helps kids' fingers get stronger and more coordinated as they play.
  • These science activities are quick to set up. Parents don't need a lot of time or special things to keep their kids busy and learning.
  • These projects make kids curious and ask questions. When you're doing these activities, ask them what they think or what they're noticing. It's a good way to make them think more about what they're doing.

The best thing is that kids are learning important stuff while they're having fun. You can help guide them, but let them figure things out on their own. These Play Doh experiments are a cool way to learn about science!


What can I make out of playdough easy?

You can make lots of simple and fun things with playdough. Here are some ideas:

  • Roll it into balls or snakes, or pretend to make a pizza
  • Use cookie cutters for shapes like stars or animals
  • Create pretend foods like cupcakes or sandwiches
  • Make prints with things like seashells or toys
  • Build funny monsters or faces
  • Make tracks by pressing a toy car or rolling pin into the playdough
  • Pretend to bake mini cakes in a toy kitchen

Just let your child use their imagination and see what they come up with. Giving them some tools like cutters or utensils can help spark ideas.

What are the benefits of playdough occupational therapy?

Playdough is great for helping kids build important skills. Here's how it helps:

  • Hand strength & skills: Playing with playdough makes fingers stronger and more skilled
  • Using both hands together: This helps kids get better at controlling their movements
  • Fine motor skills: Small movements like pinching or cutting playdough get easier
  • Eye-hand coordination: Making shapes improves this skill
  • Feeling through touch: Playdough is great for kids who like to touch and feel things

Using playdough can help kids get better at things like writing, getting dressed, and using tools.

Is making playdough a science experiment?

Yes, making playdough is like a fun science lesson. When you mix and heat ingredients like flour, salt, and oil, they change and become playdough. Kids can see how the dough changes when they add different things like colors or smells. It's a great way to learn about chemistry in the kitchen.

What is the sensory playdough activity?

Playdough activities are great for the senses. Kids can squish, roll, and play with the dough, which feels good and helps them focus. It's also good for:

  • Kids who like to touch different textures
  • Helping calm and focus the mind
  • Improving small movements and coordination
  • Encouraging creative play
  • Learning in a fun, hands-on way

For kids who need extra sensory input or have special needs, playdough can be especially helpful. It's a fun way to explore and learn.

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