Preschool Literacy Activity with Play Dough

This literacy activity is easy to set up with plastic lids and play dough.  Recycle the lids of plastic containers for fun hands-on play that engages fine motor and literacy skills in early learners.
Make letters of the alphabet with play dough

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Play dough offers so many opportunities for early learning. These are just a few of the benefits that can be realized with this popular product.

  • It's an open-ended material, so there is no right or wrong way to play with it.
  • Little instruction is needed for kids to explore and experiment.
  • The clay supports early development skills such as fine motor and sensory.


Here are recipes for making play dough at home........

Related: Easy play dough recipes


...........and it can also be purchased online.


Play dough literacy activity

This activity can be used in conjunction with child-led play. Set out the lids, just as you would a printable play dough mat, and let kids explore the materials. It's a quiet time activity, and supports independent play, although you can engage early learners in conversation about colors, sizes and shapes, along with letters of the alphabet.

Related: Activities using recycled jar lids


  • plastic lids
  • play dough
  • permanent marker


Print letters inside jar lids for a preschool literacy activity


Prepare the activity by writing the letters of your child's name on the lids, one letter on each lid.

  • You don't have to use the same type of lid for each letter. Using a variety of lids will add interest to the activity.

  • Letters can be in upper or lower case.


Roll play dough in strips to make letters


Make strips of dough by rolling with your fingers on a flat surface, or rolling between two hands.


Make shapes of the letters with play dough


Place the strips of play dough over the letters.

  • Some letters can be made with long piece of play dough that you bend to form the letter.

  • Some letters require two or three small pieces of play dough placed along the lines.


For extended hands-on learning, you can add shapes or numbers to lids.


Label jar lids with letters numbers or shapes


Make play dough mats with numbers or shapes from plastic lids


Recycled crafts and activities are my favorite, and this is just another great way to recycle items that might otherwise go to the garbage.

The lids are easy to clean and store, and provide awesome kid-led play with just the addition of play dough.


 Play Dough, Slime and More on Pinterest



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