We love to read at our house. LOVE.to.read. In fact, we just moved into our house and the biggest problem we have is that we don’t have bookshelves. So, we can’t unpack the books…! Anyway, odd moving problems aside, my preschooler’s absolute favorite book (this week) is “That’s Not My Panda”. Today we had some fun with the book then…she took a nap. Okay, so actually my first grader played with the panda bear play dough activity. She had lots of fun too!

panda play dough invitation to play

Recommended Grade Level:

Materials for the Panda Play Dough Set

  • White Play Dough
  • Bamboo Shoots
  • Bamboo Leaves
  • Panda Cookie Cutter
  • Black & White Pom Poms
  • White Buttons

Our new home has a wall of bamboo at the fence line. Which is pretty cool since it makes it a privacy fence without the extra cost of real fencing. It had to be trimmed this week, leaving us with a bunch of awesome bamboo stalks.

If you don’t have bamboo available, you could substitute green pipe cleaners and pretend that it’s bamboo. A little imagination won’t hurt!

If you haven’t seen the “That’s Not My…” collection from Usborne, you MUST check it out! We absolutely adore them. So far we have the pig and the panda.

I love them because they help my special needs preschooler understand different types of adjectives. Plus, and a major bonus, she is so interested in feeling the different parts of the animals that she will actually sit still and let me read to her. She’s a little over four years old and I have never had a book capture her attention like these do. I’m plotting ways to get the whole set…

So to make the play dough, I combined a squirt of conditioner and 1 cup of corn starch in a bowl. I did not measure the conditioner. Start with a small amount and increase bit by bit until it combines into a ball. If it gets too goopy, just add more corn starch.

Super easy.

I love it because it’s a very bright white that is hard to accomplish with a flour-based play dough.

Jaida had fun making pandas and feeding them bamboo.

More from our Shop

Find even more engaging activities in the Life Over C’s shop!

Planning for an Animal Theme? We’ve done all the work for you!

We now have interactive thematic lesson plans for toddlers (18-35 months) AND preschoolers (3-5 years)! Get ready for fun and learning with unit lesson plans for your ANIMAL THEME. Explore a variety of themed hands-on activities! Easy to follow lesson plans include activity modifications and adaptations to meet the needs of all learners. For more information, click on the graphics below:

Here are some other great ideas for activities to accompany some really great books!

You may also enjoy these Reading Calendars from Growing Book by Book! Reading ideas and book suggestions for every day!

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author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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  1. That is so cool that you have bamboo by your house. PERFECT for a panda activity!

    1. It really is! My hubby will be blogging about what we did with the rest of the trimmed bamboo today!

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