Learning Through Play Dough Bakery Pretend Play

While we love using play dough for school activities, we also use it often for play time. Since we are so limited on toy storage right now, we often turn to play dough since it’s small and easy to store, but still tons of fun. This play dough bakery play time was no exception!

play dough bakery

Materials used in our play dough bakery:

Play Dough (we used the same play dough for our pattern-building)

Cupcake toppers

Mini erasers from the Target Dollar Spot

Pom poms

Cookie cutters

play dough loose parts

This was really an open-ended play time for my kids. I didn’t have any hidden agendas. (Maybe a desire for a bit of quiet time…) But really, my kids came up with this all on their own, which really is the best kind of play.

Kids need opportunities to think and create without the adults in their lives dictating every move that they make. This time of free-thinking helps them with creativity, problem solving, and an opportunity to use the skills that we work so hard to teach them. It’s always great to see & hear them repeating something that they learned . Or even making connections between new and old play times which is a demonstration of their memory skills.

I really loved the way that my daughter created and decorated different items for her bakery. Art & math are so closely connected that every time she designs something new she is actually working a math problem in her head.

heart shaped play dough cookie

How many robots are needed to make the circle?

Even spacing


Detail work

Comparing and selecting the desired size of cutter

How can I create a pattern that will look pleasing?

While the usage of these skills while playing might not produce a paper trail of skills being built, they are observable.

play dough cup cake

And if you did want to extend this activity into a more goal-oriented learning session, you could work on creating price signs, practice handwriting skills by creating displays, or have them practice paying and making change from various denominations of money. For bigger kids you could use this as a starting point for a plan to start a bakery complete with recipe planning, ordering materials, and store set-up.

These are all important skills to learn (as any bakery owner would tell you…wink!)

Here are some other play dough posts that you might enjoy!

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