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
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 Play Dough Mats
This set comes with 8 mats – bodies and faces in four different skin tones.
Fun Food Play Dough Mats
This set comes with 3 mats – ‘make and ice cream’, ‘make a cake’ and ‘what’s for dinner?’
Garden and Growing Play Dough 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?’
Christmas Play Dough Mats
This set comes with 3 mats – ‘decorate the Christmas tree’, ‘decorate some Christmas cookies’ and ‘Santa needs some clothes!’.
Beautiful Bugs Play Dough 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’.
Make a Minion Play Dough Mats
This set comes with two play dough mats plus a page of printable minion eyes.
Pirate Play Dough 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.’
Monster Play Dough Mats
This set comes with four different monsters to make.
Easter Play Dough Mats
This set comes with four mats – ‘Decorate an Easter Hat’, ‘Decorate an Easteregg’, ‘Who belongs to these ears?’ and ‘What is hatching out of this egg?’.
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!