These must-try playdough mats are a squishy, hands-on way to develop kids’ fine motor skills while they practice upper and lowercase letter formation, letter sounds, 2D shapes, counting and writing the numbers 1 to 10. They’re the perfect combination of fun and learning!
Alphabet Playdough Mats
Learning the names, sounds and formation of letters takes plenty of practice, but the alphabet playdough mats make all of that hard work fun for kids.
Picking up one card at a time, children name the letter, read the picture and then stretch out the first sound so they can begin identifying beginning sounds in words.
Next, kids pick up a handful of playdough and stretch, roll and shape it to make a letter to match.
The pack includes 26 uppercase and 26 lowercase letters – each with different pictures – so kids have several opportunities to practice each sound.
Little Sister (age 3) was most excited to work on her favorite letter in the alphabet: A. It’s the first letter in her name, so it was the perfect place to start.
Counting Playdough Mats
The 0 to 10 counting mats give children practice with number recognition, one to one correspondence, ten frames, number formation and counting. Whew! That’s quite the math list.
Working in 1, 2, 3 order or picking a card at random, children read the number and then shape it with playdough.
They count the number with their fingers, checking their answer with the picture on the card.
Then, (Little Sister’s favorite!) they roll playdough ice cream scoops and add the correct number to the cup.
Children read the written word and, finally, add playdough dots to the ten frame.
I love how just one mat shows kids so many different ways to make each number.
Shape Playdough Mats
To stretch the mathematical learning even further, kids also practice eight 2-dimensional shapes: circle, triangle, rectangle, square, rhombus, trapezoid, hexagon and oval.
Forming real objects that contain each shape is a wonderful way to help children begin identifying their characteristics. Squares have four straight sides of equal length, circles are round without any corners, etc.