Inside: Put together a fun playdough activity that involves birthday pretend play. Candles and other loose parts make this a fun fine motor idea for toddlers and preschoolers.
Have you noticed how excited preschoolers get when they hear the word “birthday”? They just light up!
Many years ago, probably when I first started teaching, I added some candles to our playdough table.
I never imagined how loved this activity would be. Playdough birthday fun!
Every single time we put candles at our playdough table, even with our toddlers, it’s a huge hit!
The next time you are grocery shopping, pick up some candles. Place them on the table with playdough. And watch.
Birthday Fun Playdough Activity
Playdough is a staple in our classroom.
We have a designated spot for it during our free-choice centers time and children are free to come and go as they wish.
Some advantages of playdough:
- strengthens fine motor skills
- encourages creativity
- is soothing for those who might be experiencing separation anxiety
- calms children, especially during those high-energy days
Playdough is fun at home, too!
Simply keep a batch of it in an airtight container and have it ready to go, for those moments you need some quiet time.
It’s so easy to set up at the kitchen table!
Birthday Pretend Play
Since birthdays are cherished in our classroom, no matter how we set up the playdough table there always seems to be a birthday involved.
The children love pressing any loose parts on top of of a playdough mound, announcing it’s someone’s birthday.
(In my many years of teaching, I’ve lost track of how many times a child has brought me a playdough cupcake, singing the traditional Happy Birthday Song.)
One particular year birthdays were a huge hit, so I decided to turn our playdough table into a designated birthday baking center.
No surprise that it was the most popular center that week!
What we used:
- Homemade play dough (you can find our recipe in this post)
- Assorted birthday candles
- Silicone cupcake liners
- Plastic plates and other fun accessories
Because this is an open-ended activity, the children decide how they want to create birthday treats out of playdough.
The more loose parts you provide, the more options they have.
Don’t be surprised if a child approaches you with one of their birthday creations, inviting you to blow out the “candles”!
Simple, child-led fun.
Here are more birthday-themed activities to try:
- Balloons and birthdays go hand-in-hand, so why not paint with them?
- Color rice different colors, add candles, and have fun with a birthday sensory bin! (Hands On As We Grow)
- It will smell like a real birthday cake with this birthday cloud dough. (I Can Teach My Child)