Playdough Engages Many Learning Skills

Easy Homemade Gingerbread Playdough

gingerbread playdough

‘Tis the season for baking and making fun cooking projects. We tried homemade gingerbread playdough and it was a simple and easy recipe to follow. Also, it made our kitchen smell so wonderfully nice! Making playdough is a great learning experience for children of all ages. Not only is it fun to squish and play with, but it can be a teachable moment that engages many learning skills. A recipe like our gingerbread playdough involves many opportunities for learning such as pre-reading skills, sensory exploration, using fine motor skills, pre-math, and pretend play.

Get ready for easy homemade gingerbread playdough!

In order to first start the playdough, read the recipe ingredients and instructions. You and your child can read the recipe together, and if your child can read, ask them to read it aloud. This is great practice for hearing and reading different words that are not everyday language. Measuring the ingredients using cups and measuring spoons involves math as well as reading. What a great combo for early learners! Once the ingredients are mixed and heated, the smell of gingerbread is starting to form. After the playdough cools, your child is now ready to dig in and start playing with it. Using fine motor skills such as squishing and manipulating the playdough uses fine motor skills, which is important to so many tasks such as handwriting and scissor skills. Add in some sprinkles or items like pipe cleaners or beads and now they can pretend to make anything their mind can imagine. All in all, this gingerbread playdough recipe is not only a fun cooking project but a wonderful teaching opportunity. Have a blast and play on!


Gingerbread Playdough


        1 cup all-purpose flour

        1/2 cup salt

        2 tsp. cream of tartar

        1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

        2 tsp. ground ginger

        1 tsp. ground nutmeg

        1 tsp. ground cloves

        2 tbsp. vegetable oil

        1 cup water

        1 tsp orange extract {optional}



  1. In a medium saucepan whisk together dry ingredients. 
  2. Next mix in the water, oil, and orange extract and stir until a thick batter is formed.
  3. Cook the mixture over low/medium heat until a thick dough forms. 
  4. Place dough onto parchment paper and knead until smooth. 
  5. Makes about 2 cups of dough.


gingerbread playdoughgingerbread playdough

Where to find more ideas for learning skills

Our students at Growing Brilliant love playing and exploring with playdough. We ensure that all of our activities are centered around learning skills. As we listed above, the skills we engage while using playdough are important tools for children. Check out our Pinterest boards for tips and ideas.