Things to Add to Your Play-Doh (Dough) Basket

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What can you add to your Play Doh (dough) box or basket?


Play Doh is a great tool for building fine motor skills and small muscles in young children.  Children enjoy playing with it for long periods of time especially if they have some manipulatives to use.  I found it easier to manage my Play-Doh (dough) supplies by using one big container so I chose a large wicker basket with a handle.  The children could easily access all the supplies in there and cleanup was easy too.  Everyone just tossed everything back into the basket when they were done! 

What to put in the basket? 

All kinds of tools that the children can use to manipulate the dough will do.  Here is a partial list of items you can add.  Change it up anytime by adding new things and taking away old things.  Anything that can be pressed into Play Doh (dough) to adorn the children’s creations will work.  You are only limited by your own imagination and theirs. 

As the children press and pull and roll and shape and re-shape their works of art they are using and strengthening tiny muscles in their hands and fingers and even their arms.  This is a very improtant pre-writing activity as it in turn prepares their hands for future writing tasks with pencils when they go to school.  Grasping a pencil requires strength and does not come naturally.  It is something that takes time and by incorporating fine motor skills activities like simply breaking out the Play Doh, you are enhancing that growth and strength. 

You can make the dough a better sensory experience by adding a few drops of a food extract or adding some sand or glitter.



Tooth Picks


Plastic Spoons, Forks and Knives

Cookie Cutters

Garlic Press

Pasta Wheel

Plastic Pizza Cutter

Play Dishes and Utensils

Toy Dinosaurs

Toy Animals and People

Legos and Small Toys

Small Beads or Pebbles

Rolling Pins

Popsicle Sticks

Plastic Kid-Safe Scissors

Wiggle Eyes (all Sizes)


Bottle Caps


Sewing Buttons

Dry Pasta Shapes

Toilet and Paper Towel Cardboard Tubes

Seasonal Items:

Acorns, Leaves, Pine Cones, Flowers, Seashells, Twigs, etc.


Sensory Items:

Glitter, Sand or Rice

Food Flavoring Extracts (Vanilla, Orange, Mint, Almond, Coconut, etc…)

Powdered Juice Mix / Cool Aid Powder


Safety First:  Remember that close adult supervision is always required for any arts & crafts activity with young children (especially under the age of 3) to insure appropriate use of the materials. Small items such as buttons and tiny wiggly eyes can be choking hazards. 

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ABC Kids Games – Eating The Alphabet !

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ABC Kids Games - Rainydayprek

Did you know that there are many ways to teach the Alphabet to children?  There are ABC songs and ABC kid’s games and rote memory activities and more.  One of the more interesting ways – at least to the kids – is to ‘eat the alphabet!’ Creating a fun ABC activity using food is always a memorable experience and snack time or meal time is a great time to eat the alphabet!  Many young children can be very fussy and selective eaters so introducing fun, new ways to eat healthy foods can be a challenge.  Introducing unfamiliar foods can be an ABC Kids Game and help children become more receptive to trying something new. Add silly adjectives to the name of the snack such as ‘silly string cheese’ or ‘yummy yogurt pops’, etc.

When offering sugary snacks limit the amount to a taste or two and add some cheese, fruit or a glass of milk to help your children eat less of the unhealthy foods. 

 There are snack ideas for every letter of the alphabet.  Sometimes you may have to be a bit creative (letters Q and Z for example) but you can come up with something.  Below is a list of snack or meal ideas for each letter. Please feel free to comment and share your favorites that you have used with toddlers and preschool children.  



***Adults should handle any stove top or oven use to avoid accidental burns to children.        Use extreme care, potholders, etc… keep young children well out of the way.

*** Everybody wash hands before any food preparation and when having children help to prepare any food.

*** Always check with parents about any ALLERGIES the children may have.  Allergic reactions can have serious side effects including death.  Always offer alternatives.


A – Apples (of course you knew that was coming!); Applesauce (Making your own is very easy!); Almonds,


B – Bananas, Banana Bread (make your own!), whole wheat Bagel, Bread (bake some whole wheat Pillsbury rolls) , Blueberry muffins, Frozen Blueberries,


C – Carrots and dip, Cauliflower and dip, Corn on the Cob, Cheese & Crackers, Cereal, Cantaloupe, Cheerios, Chocolate (dark) covered Strawberries, Cherries, Coconut,


D – Dairy Foods for D, Delicious Delights (make up something and call it that!)  Disappearing Dippy Sticks (Carrots or celery sticks with dip)


E – Eggs (scrambles, hard boiled, deviled), Egg Salad on Crackers, Egg Roll,


F – French Fries (sweet potato version), Fruit, Fabulous Fun Fajitas, French toast,


G – Grapes, Grapefruit, Goldfish crackers, Graham Crackers, Green Eggs & Ham,


H – Ham & Cheese Hoagie (make a huge one and cut it up to share), Happy Honey Sticks (Dip pretzels into honey), * Babies under 1 year should not consume honey.


I – Ice Cream, Ice Milk, Ice Pops


J – Jello Jigglers, Juice,   Jam & Toast,


K – Kiwi fruit, kumquat,


L – Lemons (make lemonade), Limes (make limeade), Licorice,


M – Milk (add some chocolate), Minty Ice Cream, Macaroni and Cheese, Mashed Potatoes,


N – Nectarines, Nuts, Nifty —


O – Olives, Oranges, Oatmeal,


P – Pretzels, Peaches, Peanuts (beware of allergies) , Pistachio Pudding, Pumpkin (make a pie using canned), Pizza on Whole Wheat Pita Pockets (fun to make!), Potato Tots,


Q – Quesadilla, Quaker Oatmeal, Quiche, Quick Bread, Quinoa (Keen-wah)


R – Rasberries, Raisins, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Raviolis,


S – Spaghetti (whole wheat pasta), Saltines w/cheese, Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries,


T – Tacos, Tuna Salad on crackers, Tea and Biscuits (have a tea party), Tangy Tarts,

U – Udon Noodles, Upside down cake, Under the Sea ‘Goldfish’crackers, 
V– Vanilla ice cream, Vienna Fingers, Velveeta Cheese, V-8 Fruit Juice, Veggie burger, Vegetables and Dip, Very Vanilla Pudding, 

W – Watermelon, Walnuts, Wheat Chex, Wheat Crackers, Water, Wiggly Worms,


X – Hershey Kisses XXX, X-Shaped Jello Jigglers, X-tra Special PB&J Sandwiches, make X’s out of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls,


Y – Yogurt (Frozen Gogurts or Pops), Yellow Fruit, Yummy yams (mashed),


Z – Zucchini (make bread), ziti (pasta shape), zesty salad,

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How Many Parents of Preschoolers Find Teaching the Alphabet Difficult? ABC Kids Games?

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I’m writing a newsletter for parents, and don’t know if I should include a section on “Teaching the Alphabet.” Is this something parents are pretty comfortable with, or should I give some insight on ways to make learning the alphabet more meaningful and fun?Any ideas for ABC Kids Games and activities?

I think that your parents might find it very helpful. The alphabet is not something that you learn in order, but OUT of order and that is not a commonly known thing. Be sure to put lots of different ways to learn the alphabet in your section (tactile,sensory,songs, stories ‘Chicka Chicka Boom Boom’ is a good one). Congrats on having a good view of teaching and being willing to take the time and help out the ‘homefront’.

(See more ideas below!)


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