Search form

Seven Activities to Celebrate National Play-Doh Day

This year, find some time to mold National Play-Doh Day into the classroom. September 16 marks the date to recognize the colorful substance used all over the world as a beloved children's toy and craft material.

How old is Play-Doh?

According to the Play-Doh website, the product was originally created as wallpaper cleaner, and has been around for over 50 years. Soon after its creation, children began using the product for modeling and creating, and it was then re-constructed and packaged for a child's use.

Play-Doh's modeling compound, made of salt, flour, and water, was first sold in stores in 1956. At that time, it came in one color, but one year later in 1957, red, blue, and yellow came in the mix. Today, over 950 pounds, or more than 2 billion cans, have been used to a child's imagination.

There are plenty of fun and innovative ways to use the product in the classroom, whether it is in the science lab or in the art room. Here are seven activities to celebrate National Play-Doh Day in the classroom:

  1. Home-made Play-Doh: Teach students how to make their own Play-Doh with these simple household ingredients. It will be an interesting science experiment and students can bring home their products and craft at home. 
  2. Play-Doh Maze: Take Play-Doh and rub it in between your hands, creating a thin strip. Then, line the Play-Doh strips about a flat surface to create a maze. With the help of small figurines or characters, students can take their play piece throughout the maze, dodging different obstacles and more. 
  3. Color Theory: This activity will teach students colors, primary colors, and all of the other aspects of color theory. Teachers can create the colored Play-Doh at home, and then bring the product to class. Students will start out with primary colors, and roll the dough into small balls. Then, they will continue to mix these colors together until they have created their own rainbow. 
  4. Fall Leaves and Play-Doh: Perfect for the season, the class can create their own fall leaves prints with red, orange, and yellow Play-Doh. Have the class gather outside to collect leaves, and then create their own fall-like leaf prints with the colors. 
  5. Baking Soda Volcano: With this activity, a lot of Play-Doh is needed. Have the class create their own volcano and corresponding ecosystem: trees, flowers, shrubs, etc. Then, with some baking soda, vinegar, warm water, red food coloring, and dish liquid, students can be in awe as their make-shift science experiment erupts. 
  6. Glow-In-The-Dark Play-Doh: Add some glow-in-the-dark paint to Play-Doh until the mixture is sticky, and set it in a closed jar in the sun. It should sit for a few hours in the direct sunlight. Then, when it is ready, turn off the lights and encourage students to stick their hands in and create glowing masterpieces. 
  7. Planet Earth: Students will learn about the layers of Earth with this fun scientific craft. Gather Play-Doh of the following colors: blue, green, black, yellow, orange, and red. The red stands as the inner core, orange is the outer core, yellow is the mantle, black is the crust, and green and blue are for the water and land. Students will be in awe when teachers cut their mini dough-like Earth replicas down the middle. It can also be a fun science activity for the older crowd to create the replica themselves. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor