Playdough Shapes Activity For Toddlers

First published Sept 2016.

This super simple shape exploration activity for toddlers is the perfect way to introduce your toddler to learning about shapes! A super fun sensory activity and great for language development as you talk about the shapes and their attributes together.

Playdough Shapes

What I loved about this easy shape activity using playdough is that it was super simple to set up and used things we already had on hand. Yet provided about 30 minutes of entertainment and exploration for Little Sister. This toddler had a blast making playdough shapes, despite the fact that she hasn’t been feeling well.

Aside from doing puzzles together and reading an occasional book about shapes, we haven’t done too many activities yet specifically about learning shapes and I didn’t expect that Little Sister would know many basic shape names (if any). Much to my surprise, she knew triangle, square, circle, and diamond. She must have picked these shapes up from watching TV. ;)

How To Make Shapes With Playdough

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Playdough (I used a batch of our Pinkalicious playdough I made a couple months ago)
  • Kinetic Sand
  • Playdough Shape Cutters


Shape Exploration for Toddlers

1. Grab two trays (to contain the mess) and then put playdough on one and the kinetic sand on the other.


Making shapes with playdough

2. Give your toddler the playdough shape cutters and let him/her go to town exploring their imprints into both of the materials. Be sure to stick close by to not only supervise, but also so that you can reinforce the shape names and talk about the basic characteristics of each shape.


Shape Exploration for Toddlers

Little Sister definitely preferred playing with the kinetic sand over the playdough when they were side by side.


Shape Exploration for Toddlers

Shape Exploration for Toddlers

Check Out More Fun Activities For Toddlers

Indoor Activities For Toddlers

Pumpkin Activities For Toddlers

Outdoor Activities For Toddlers


Shape Exploration for Toddlers


  1. I love this shape practice idea! Do you have any suggestions for introducing play dough and similar materials? I made a batch of simple homemade play dough, and my daughter doesn’t really like touching it. I’m sure it’s a texture thing, and sometimes she’ll pinch a few little pieces off, but overall she’s not interested. Do you have any ideas that might help? Maybe she’s not ready for play dough yet…

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