We love play dough. Even my big kids enjoy a bit of dough play, and my little one just adores it!
We’ve tried loads of fun play dough activities and ideas over the years, but some of the most fun we’ve had with play dough is when we use some of our printable play dough mats.
I’ve been creating printable play dough mats based on my children’s interests for quite a while now, and have built up a collection of favourites.
The aim of our play dough mats is to spark a child’s interest and creativity, without totally directing their play. So these sets are are all open-ended. They are a starting point, designed to inspire creativity and invite kids to play and explore. They are full of blank faces, empty plates, bare gardens, and more, just waiting to be filled with anything you can imagine!
There are no right or wrong way to use these mats, so if Santa wears green shorts and the snail has wings, that’s totally ok! Let your kids be creative!
You can use home-made play dough, shop bought dough, modelling clay/plasticine, or any kind of dough. You don’t need anything other than the mats and the dough, but collecting a few accessories to go with the theme is loads of fun too.
We like to use some loose parts, crafty bits and pieces, accessories with play dough.
Here are a few suggestions for things you could include in your play dough set up:
- googly eyes
- plastic gems
- gum nuts
- tooth picks
- pipe cleaners
- glass nuggets
Here’s a fun new playdough recipe to try!
Free Printable Play Dough Mats
We can’t decide which set we love the most, so here they all are. Click on the links below to visit the post and download your favourite set!
People Playdough Mats
This set comes with 8 mats – bodies and faces in four different skin tones.
You can find the People Play Dough Mats here.
Fun Food Playdough Mats
This set comes with 3 mats – ‘make an ice cream’, ‘make a cake’ and ‘what’s for dinner?’
You can find the Fun Food Play Dough Mats here
Garden and Growing Playdough Mats
This set comes with 3 mats – ‘what is growing in your posts?’, ‘what is growing in your garden?’, and ‘what is growing on your tree?’
You can find the Garden and Growing Play Dough Mats here
Christmas Play Dough Mats.
This set comes with 3 mats – ‘decorate the Christmas tree’, ‘decorate some Christmas cookies’ and ‘Santa needs some clothes!’.
You can find theChristmas Play Dough Mats here
Beautiful Bugs PlayDough Mats.
This set comes with 4 mats – ‘This snail needs a shell’, ‘Who belongs to these legs?’, ‘Who lives on this web?’ and ‘Give the butterfly some wings’.
You can find the Beautiful Bugs Play Dough Mats here
Minion Playdough Mats
This set comes with two play dough mats plus a page of printable minion eyes.
You can find the Make a Minion Play Dough Mats here
Pirate Playdough Mats
This set comes with 4 mats – ‘What does your pirate flag look like?’, ‘What does your pirate ship look like?’, ‘Make a treasure map’ and ‘What is in your treasure chest.’
You can find the Pirate Play Dough Mats here
Monster Playdough Mats
This set comes with four different monsters to make.
You can find the Monster Play Dough Mats here
Easter Playdough Mats
This set comes with four mats – ‘Decorate an Easter Hat’, ‘Decorate an Easter egg’, ‘Who belongs to these ears?’ and ‘What is hatching out of this egg?’.
You can find the Easter Play Dough Mats here
Mermaid Playdough Mat
This mermaid needs a tail!
You can find the Mermaid playdough mat here.
How to Use our Printable Playdough Mats
All of the our free printable play dough sets are A4 sized pdf files, so you will need a pdf reader such as Adobe Acrobat to open them. If you are printing on US ‘letter sized’ paper be sure to select ‘fit’ or ‘shrink to fit’ from your printer options.
Please remember that the printables at picklebums.com are for personal use only, you may not sell, share, or link directly to these files.
I use a regular desktop inkjet printer to print our mats. I print onto regular printer paper and then laminate each one. If you want to save on laminating pockets, laminate two sheets together, back to back. You could also slip them in a page protector, or use write and wipe pocket.
I’ll also let you in on a little secret…
These play dough mats also make great drawing prompts, and, our free printable drawing prompts also work great as play dough mats!
If you have an idea for our next set of play dough mats, please leave a comment and let me know!
If you love my free playdough mats and would like to support my small business, you might like to check out some of my playdough sets in my shop.
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
These are all so super cute!! Thanks so very much!!
Beach mats, lighthouse, camping, farms
Where’s the ice cream cone? Kids would enjoy making the ice cream from playdough to top the cone.
luna wolf says
I printed out a batch of your playdough mats, and my typically craft-averse four-year-old boy LOVES them. Thank you! What about an ocean/beach set? Make a shell for a hermit crab, build/decorate a sandcastle, fill up a sunken treasure chest with pirate booty. . .I love your site–keep up the great work! :)
A beach/ocean theme is a great idea!
I just made a couple of ocean drawing prompts for my kids before we went on holiday to Tasmania. You can find them here if your kids would like them – https://picklebums.com/2015/03/31/sea-drawing-prompts/
These are so amazing thank you so much for sharing them
I LOVE your site!! I just printed the comic strip pages for my 11year old son. He’s earning time on his PS3 and iPad over the summer. He’s been practicing cursive writing, reading his required reading book (Chomp by Carl Hiaasen) and was just asking me what else he could do… Then I stumbled on your printables on Pinterest! I also teach Pre-k children that have speech/language and/or developmental delays. Your play dough mats are awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your ideas! ????
Sounds like you are having a busy summer! So glad you are enjoying our printables – you might also like our ‘un-boring seriously cool’ writing prompts – https://picklebums.com/2015/05/19/writing-prompts-for-kids/
So amazing! Funfood, animals, seaside printable versions.. Thank you.
JUDY SMITH says
Love the playdough mats but what are t hey made of???
They are simply printed onto regular printer paper, then laminated. Or you could cover them with self adhesive plastic or put them in a plastic sheet protector.
What about princess? crowns? I love this website!!! Congrats!!!
Thank you very much for all the wonderful activities and printables that you offer up so graciously. You are a true inspiration.
Katrina Santistevan says
I’m doing prek at home for my son and my nephew. They love the playdoh mats. I try to keep class as interactive as possible. I would love to see some alphabet mats done. The ones I’ve been finding online are rather plain.
Medios de transporte (coche, camión, autonus…) es una buena idea.
So many good ones here! My 2 year old is going to LOVE the monsters and bugs range :)