Learning About Shapes with Play Dough

Learning shapes with play dough
Play Dough is such a fun learning tool to play with and explore new concepts. 
With Miss 2 learning about shapes at the moment, I thought it would be fun for her to play and discover shapes using play dough.  The ideas and possibilities are endless! 
I absolutely love the way this invitation to play with play dough and shapes created so many opportunities to learn and play creatively, imaginatively, mathematically, to construct, problem solve, explore, discover and try new things, all while having fun!!  
What you will need?
Shapes Play Dough 2
You will need play dough, shape cookie cutters, rolling pins and shape buttons.  I set these items out onto a tray for my kids to create, explore and discover freely with.
The play dough I used for this activity is a Zesty Lemon Scented Play Dough, you can find the recipe {HERE}
Let’s Play
Let's Play with Shapes and Play Dough
One way my girls utilised the materials was by creating an imaginative play cookie shop.  They used the shape cutters, shape buttons and play dough and turned them into shape cookies and had lots of fun decorating them.  My girls were presenting them onto the tray for selling in their cookie shop.  You can see some ordering, classifying and matching of colours and shapes in the photos.
Let’s Learn
Let's Learn with play dough and shapes
There was so much creativity and learning happening as my girls explored and tried new things. 
The cut out play dough shapes created a bit of a puzzle which was matched with a play dough button.  Miss 2 placed play dough shapes together to make a 2D house shape and also snowman. 
As my girls were playing along they stumbled upon a problem where we had a diamond shape cookie cutter but did not have a diamond shape button to match.  It was discovered that by putting two triangles together makes a diamond shape.
Exploring and constructing with shape
We left our play dough tools out for about a week and my kids returned to play with the shape cutters, play dough and shape buttons regularly.  Every time they played they created and discovered new ways of utilising the materials.  Here Miss 5 created a 3-D house using the 2-D shapes.  She discovered that putting other shapes together can support, construct and make new shapes.  Miss 5 also later constructed a 3D rocket ship using the cut out play dough shapes.
Learning Opportunities
  • Creativity and imaginative play
  • Fine Motor Development
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Concentration
  • Spatial awareness – experimenting and exploring with shape and space
  • Language development – shape names and communication
  • Classifying, matching and sorting
  • Problem solving and self-correcting
  • Shape recognition
This post is part of our Play Dough Toolbox, click on the links to find out more…..
Play Dough Toolbox Series
What is a Play Dough Toolbox?
Importance of Playing with Play Dough
More Play Dough Activity Ideas
More Shapes Activities
Learning 4 kids
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  1. What fun Janice! I love your shape cutters…where did you get them? Your girls look like they are having so much fun!

  2. I love those buttons!!!! Your play dough looks and sounds so good. I can imagine the wonderful smell from here :) What a fabulous idea, I will be trying this with the kids.

  3. The twinkles are probably ready for these activities too. They knew square, triangle, circle and heart before they even turned two! Now it’s time for rectangle and oval!


  1. […] Learn about Shapes with Playdough – I love play dough! I shared a link to many play dough recipes earlier. Play dough itself is great for all kinds of learning. It’s a wonderful way to introduce sensory play and is fantastic for helping develop hand muscles for fine motor coordination. […]

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