Play dough is always a fun and engaging sensory experience for young children. You can easily add colors and scents to your play dough to make it even more inviting! This candy cane playdough activity is a fantastic way to engage the senses while developing fine motor skills and giving kids a chance to exercise their creativity.
My kids always love it when I set up play dough invitation, so I try to come up with unique ways to incorporate play dough and whatever theme we are working on at the time. A candy cane play dough invitation is perfect for a gingerbread or holiday theme.
Candy Cane Playdough Exploration
While participating in this candy cane playdough activity, kids will engage their senses while developing fine motor skills. The texture of the dough, the smell of the peppermint, the bright colors, and the stark contrast between white and red. It’s all a great way to pull children into an activity and keep them engaged.
On top of that, play dough is an excellent way to develop those small hand muscles that kids will need to write and do a variety of other life skills.
Candy Cane Playdough Supplies
Here are the supplies you’ll need to make your own candy cane play dough.
- Red Play Dough (here’s my favorite playdough recipe)
- White Play Dough
- Candy Cane Cookie Cutters
- Chenille Stems (red, green and white)
- Optional: Peppermint Extract or Peppermint Essential Oil
- Any other play dough tools you wish to include (Here are some of our favorite play dough tools).
Start by making your favorite play dough recipe. You can add the peppermint extract or oil to the water when cooking the dough. A half a tablespoon should be plenty, but this may depend on the brand you use and your individual preferences. Now your dough will make your classroom smell amazing!
Then, divide your batch of play dough in half and color one half red using liquid watercolors or red food coloring. If you like brighter, more vibrant colors you will want to use liquid watercolors. When your dough is colored, you can twist the red and white dough together to create a candy cane effect.
Next, cut the chenille stems into pieces about a 1/2 inch long. The size of your stems will depend on the size of your cookie cutters.
Finally, place the play dough, chenille stem pieces, and cookie cutters on a tray.
Candy Cane Play Dough Activity
Invite your children to explore the materials on the tray and create candy canes. You can encourage them to roll snakes with each color of dough and twist them together to make candy canes. They can also use the cookie cutters and chenille stems provided.
They may even choose to make other things and that is totally fine, too.
Allow them to mix the colors and observe what happens to the dough colors over time.
What is most important is that they are developing those small hand muscles while using their creativity to make anything their imaginations can come up with!
Your kids will love this fun and festive play dough invitation for the holidays. In fact, this dough is so amazing you can even make it as a gift to give your kids!
BIO: Danielle is a former elementary teacher, a mom of two and now shares playful learning activities at Mom Inspired Life. Check out her Christmas printables for preschoolers and make sure you subscribe to her newsletter to receive activities straight to your inbox! You can also follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram.
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Five Senses Activities for Christmas – The five senses are key tools for preschoolers to explore and understand the world around them. When teachers can engage one or more of the senses, the learning experience becomes more concrete and more memorable. Here are over 20 activity ideas that will engage the senses as you invite preschoolers to learn more about Christmas.
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