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Patriotic Playdough Invitation Tray

This patriotic playdough invitation tray is a fun way to encourage your kids to use their imaginations while also developing fine motor skills and enjoying sensory play.

If you’re looking for more red, white, and blue ideas for kids, you’ll want to check out this patriotic suncatcher kids craft and this red white and blue sensory bottle, too! These are great companion activities for patriotic holidays.

You can also use playdough mats to go with it, like these ocean animal playdough mats, weather playdough mats, and bodies and faces playdough mats. I also recommend checking out this playdough fine motor activities pdf for more ideas to enrich the learning.

What is a playdough invitation tray?

A playdough invitation tray is a creative and interactive activity designed for young children, typically preschoolers or toddlers. It’s also a great sensory activity for fine motor skills development or special needs like autism. It involves arranging various materials and tools on a tray or a designated play surface to invite children to explore and manipulate playdough in an open-ended and imaginative way.

The tray serves as a visually appealing and organized setup that captures children’s attention and encourages their engagement. It usually includes items such as different colors of playdough, various tools like rolling pins, cookie cutters, plastic knives, or shape molds, as well as natural materials like leaves, flowers, shells, or sticks. Sometimes, additional elements like beads, buttons, sequins, or small toys are included to spark further creativity.

The purpose of a playdough invitation tray is to provide children with a sensory and hands-on experience, allowing them to explore the properties of the playdough while enhancing their fine motor skills, creativity, and imaginative play. The open-ended nature of the activity encourages children to experiment, mold, shape, and create using the playdough and the accompanying materials, fostering their cognitive and artistic development.

Playdough invitation trays are often used in educational settings, such as preschools or early childhood classrooms, but they can also be set up at home as a fun and engaging playtime activity for children.

  1. Shape and Mold: Encourage children to explore the playdough’s texture and mold it into different shapes using their hands. Provide them with various tools like rolling pins, cookie cutters, or shape molds to enhance their fine motor skills and creativity.
  2. Sensory Play: Add different sensory elements to the tray, such as scented playdough or natural materials like dried herbs or spices. This adds an extra sensory dimension to the play experience, stimulating children’s senses and fostering their exploration.
  3. Nature-Inspired Creations: Include natural materials like leaves, flowers, or sticks on the tray. Encourage children to incorporate these materials into their playdough creations, allowing them to explore nature, patterns, and textures while combining them with the malleable playdough.
  4. Storytelling and Imaginative Play: Encourage children to create characters, objects, or scenes with the playdough. They can use the tools and materials provided to bring their stories to life, promoting imaginative play and storytelling skills.
  5. Color Mixing and Experimentation: Provide children with different colors of playdough and encourage them to mix and blend the colors together. They can explore color theory, create new shades, and learn about primary and secondary colors while engaging in hands-on experimentation.

Remember, these are just a few ideas, and the possibilities are endless! The key is to provide a variety of materials and tools that inspire children’s creativity and allow them to explore and manipulate the playdough in their own unique ways.

How to Make a Patriotic Playdough Invitation Tray

This cute patriotic playdough invitation tray is perfect for 4th of July, Memorial Day, Flag Day, or any other patriotic holidays you want to celebrate. It’s a cute summer theme, too. This project is very simple to put together and your kids will love it!

Supplies needed:


Add the items around the tray. Place the Playdoh in the middle of the tray.

Add a plastic mat to protect the surface.

Invite your child to explore and engage with the contents of the sensory bin, using his or her imagination to use the items in a variety of ways!

Match colors, match stars, make patterns and more!

That’s all there is to it! Just stand back and watch your kids have fun with all the ways they can use their patriotic playdough invitation tray!

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