No preschool Valentine’s Day theme would be complete without a Valentine play dough activity.
Playing with play dough is a great way for kids to practice their fine motor skills in a fun, hands-on way. The simple act of pressing chenille stems, beads, cookie cutters and other supplies into soft dough has so many benefits for young children.
Your kids will have a blast exploring and creating with play dough around a Valentine’s Day theme!
Valentine Play Dough Supplies
Here are the crafting supplies and dough tools I used for this activity, but you can use whatever supplies you have available.
- Play Dough (here’s our favorite homemade playdough recipe)
- Pipe Cleaners
- Rolling Pins
- Cookie Cutters
- Heart Boxes
- Chip and Dip Tray
These are just suggestions for setting up a fun and inviting Valentine play dough invitation in your own classroom. You can raid your craft supplies and use whatever you may already have on-hand.
Valentine Play Dough
Start by setting up your play dough invitation on a tray. I used a chip and dip try from the dollar store, but you can use any tray you have available.
Next, invite your little learners to explore the materials on the tray. Play dough invitations are intended to be open-ended experiences, there are no right or wrong ways to explore or build with the materials.
As they begin to build and create with the dough and materials you can watch their little imaginations at work!
The color of your pipe cleaners, beads, or other materials really doesn’t matter, this activity is all about the experience of using the materials to create.
Valentine Play Dough Invitation
Don’t worry if your kids just want to use one of the materials and not others, or if they want to use them all.
This is a completely open-ended activity with no pre-determined outcome. If they don’t want to use the heart shaped cookie cutters, no problem. It’s all about the process of creating with the materials rather than making a Pinterest perfect heart.
Benefits of Playing with Play Dough
Playing with play dough and setting up a Play Dough Center has many educational benefits for young children.
Creativity – Children use their imaginations to create rather than follow a template or sample. Imaginative children become problem solvers later in life.
Communication – Children can chat with their friends and classmates in a relaxed environment which facilitates oral language development. Oral language development is directly related to reading scores later.
Small Group or Independent Work – Perfect for children to do independently or in a small group.
Fine Motor Skills – Rolling the dough and and placing small objects in the dough is great for strengthening those important fine motor skills which are needed for writing later.
You can add some literacy to your invitation by reading plenty of Valentine themed books, too!
More Play Dough Activities
Of course there are plenty of opportunities to incorporate play dough activities into your classroom all year long!
When it’s Easter then make sure to include this Easter play dough activity. Similar to this activity, it’s quick to set up a the play dough tray! Make sure to get your Easter play dough mats to go with it!
When it’s cold outside, then this snowman play dough activity is perfect. Your students will love being able to create their own snowmen out of playdough and they won’t melt! This candy cane play dough activity would also be a fun activity for winter too. Students will use chenille stems to create their own candy canes.
As a great science activity that uses play dough is this frog cycle play dough activity. Your students will enjoy creating the stages of a frog’s life cycle on these frog cycle play dough mats.
And no matter what time of the year, the alphabet play dough activity is perfect to help your students learn the alphabet in fun way.