Festive Youtube Accompanied Playdough Activities

Festive Youtube Accompanied Playdough Activities


If in doubt- playdough. Every parent shares that frequent moment of “ach, quick brain, need to entertain him immediately!” and your brain responds with “chill, we got this, the playdoughs in the cupboard” and as you grab them and pop those lids in front of your grinning toddler, you and your brain share a little high five. No? Just me?


I love playdough, I did as a child and I do now as a parent. Its incredibly versatile as a play material and even more so when you throw an educational angle at it. Usually I’m all over any little thing I see out there that would enhance play time, glass pebbles for imaginative play ice, used with white playdough for example, I love playdough mats too!


However, when it comes to modelling objects with playdough, or any kind of creative reproduction with it, Squirrel can only do so much without guidance at 21 months old. So this is how we approach this kind of learning play. Immediate visual association with linked tools with the playdough bring together a special activity that enhances a theme with specific subjects, focusing on identification as well as a number of other skills.

festive youtube accompanied playdough activities list

Here are 3 festive themed ideas that you can work with, with suggested tools, videos to search for and guided brain-fizzers.

Snow-loving Animals

By chance I found this penguin and this wulrus in a 50p bucket in a gift shop a few months ago, perfect!


We enjoyed creating snowy landscapes with clear glass pebbles, and creating flipper tracks in the snow in lines, experimenting with different amounts of force needed to create a clear imprint without pushing all the way through. Granted, these two critters are unlikely to meet in the wild, one in the arctic ocean and the other in the Antarctica, but these two got on pretty well. When hes older I’ll be more specific on habitats and boundaries.


We matched this activity with video clips of penguin documentaries, walrus documentaries and an episode of pingu- though this could take Happy Feet to another level for a themed day!

Singing Stars

In terms of tools we went pretty minimal with a rolling pin and a couple of different sized stars. We did a little stacking with our cut stars and played at pressing them back into their own cut out empty shapes in the rolled dough again, jigsaw puzzle style.


However, we decided to SING! Squirrel has been singing along with us for a long while, so we went for a sing along star play session.


We had video clips of ‘Sparkle & Shine’ from the movie Nativity!, and a couple of other star themed christmas songs for children i plucked randomly from youtube, but I admit that we returned to Sparkle & Shine over and over, we both love that one!

Less Spikey, More Stampy Holly

We have drawn his attention to holly over the season as we’ve been browsing around the huge amount of Christmas aisles through all the shops, and visiting garden centres with their festive aisles.


He now spots the plant itself when we pass a garden or hedge of it, and points out wreaths on doors through our neighbourhood too, but i was a bit iffy about letting him actually touch some yet, particularly with playdough, where you instinctively want to squish things into it, meaning a good lot of contact with it, so to avoid booboos, we opted for a cookie cutter and these fantastic craft stamps that hubby actually found in a charity shop and grabbed for us!


We loved pressing the stamp into the dough and then tried cutting out the holly areas with the holly cutter, and observing how the impression in the playdough was the same as the image on the stamp.


We matched this activity with youtube tutorials for making your own wreathes at home; he certainly noticed lots of holly and enjoyed spotting other natural objects that he knew the names of- pinecones and robins among them. I hoped he would take note of the circular consistency of all the wreathes and encouraged him to attempt it with his playdough, but that was a no goer.



So there you have it, an alternative angle to take your Christmas play dough days!


This post is part of Unit 3. Winter & Christmas.



Shrinkie Plastic Scribble Charms

Shrinkie Plastic Scribble Charm Gift


Scribbling is satisfying. It just is! Just grabbing a pen and letting all the loopy out in whatever shade you like is nothing less that completely therapeutic, for both children and adults. Try it, it is entirely liberating!



What with being 21 months old, and with a new favourite colour every week (FYI, it is red right now, I know, terribly festive) Squirrel gets fired up at the very sight of his pens, and I swear he cracks his knuckles in a showdown type manner, ready to scribble the scribbies right out of him.
Such passion.

So, harnessing it is totally a thing for us. Wrapping paper, cut outs for cards, whatever the occasion, we scribble and make it work. So when I saw this activity from Rust & Sunshine I figured we could have scribbley fun in a keepsake gift form. I “ooh’d” outloud. Yep.

scribble charm list



I ordered my shrinky plastic, I have to admit, its been so long since I used it, I expected to just go straight at it with felt tips. I was apparently wrong. Thats a nono, with the brand I ordered anyway.

So, as it just so happened that I had 2 sharpies in teal and blue, I reluctantly decided to let Squirrel have a shot with them, because I was in a I’m-not-wasting-money-on-flipping-shrinky-paper mood.



I was on him like a hawk. A big, hovering squawky hawky. He was completely unphased by my flapping and created some glorious scribbles on this mysterious transparent stuff! Scribbling aside, the shrinky plastic rocked his world for 10 whole minutes, lifting it up and looking through it AND his scribbles, flapping it around his head and experimented pressing his hand against it and then moving it with the other, as if it were moving independently. Mind blown, man.




That being said, I figured we would give the other pens a shot…




Nope. Thats a nu-uh. Oh well. It pooled, lesson learned.

So, with Squirrel keeping an eye as I cut them into large rectangles, curving the edges and hole punching them once each to create a place to thread them, we layered them out on a tray, and Squirrel and I watched through the oven as they curled up and shrunk!

I’m not going to lie, I was a bit more excited than he was, but still! We looked at the itty bitty ones compared to some unheated cut pieces and he felt the differences in their thickness and size, acknowledging the interaction with the oven, pointing at it saying “innn deeeer!” while holding them.



That is where Squirrels part in this activity came to an end, the rest was all me, but it didn’t take long, and these are going to make sweet little keepsakes for his family, so it was a lovely craft to do together with some great scientific observation thrown in too!



I raided my beading box, one container among the vaguely organised shelves and shelves of hoarded craft material and tools, and found bits and beads that would work, and in the right colours too! These are all easily purchased from craft and bead shops, and I daresay there is a world of choices online too.



I looped split rings into each of them, threading on several small colour matched beads, then a flat headed bead pin with a thread of white beads, and plied a loop into the split ring too. Jolly sweet.

I followed that by taking lengths of fine chain, threading them through and rejoining them with size matched split rings, and there we suddenly had a collection of hangable scribble charms, beautiful gifts for the family from Squirrel in the small gift packs that we are working on together.



These are so versatile too, they could easily be threaded onto full necklace chains, made into wind chimes (an activity I’m hoping to do in the Spring!), keyrings, you name it. We are very pleased with our charming little scribble pendants!



This post is part of Unit 3. Winter & Christmas.