Back-to-School is an exciting time for all! Parents look forward to that consistent routine, students anticipate seeing their friends again, and teachers get excited about new beginnings!

Not to mention school supplies! There is nothing better than newly sharpened pencils (I know you can smell it:), crayons so fresh they still have that tiny flat tip, untouched smooth and shiny watercolors, and stacks of colorful notebooks.

– Life Over C's School Supply play dough mats printable for preschoolers.

Recommended Grade Level:

School Supply Play Dough Mat Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Laminating Supplies
  • Scissors
  • Playdough (various colors)

Use these FREE School Supply Play Dough Mats for Preschool to introduce our youngest learners to all of the supplies needed for a productive school year. The 10 colorful mats feature a variety of supplies, from notebooks and glue to paper clips and clipboards. Preschoolers will love developing fine motor skills while creating school supplies out of play dough.

Back to School Activities for Preschool

For many preschoolers, the first weeks of school are brand new and unknown. It could be a child’s first experience with an educational setting. They are still learning so much about the world they live in by exploring and playing each and every day.

Back-to-school is an ideal theme for preschoolers! Get into it by capitalizing on the school theme for our youngest learners!

Playing with play dough is an ideal fine motor activity as students work at small movements like rolling, pinching, flattening, squeezing and more.

The muscles developed and strengthened while playing with play dough are the very same muscles children will later employ as students write their letters, numbers, shapes and drawings.

Focus on getting to know your students and allowing the students to get to know the classroom environment.

Keep students engaged with hands-on experiences and opportunities for language/vocabulary development. With a Back-to-School theme, students can:

  • Talk and listen
  • Sort and categorize
  • Count
  • “Read”
  • Sing and rhyme
  • Role play

How to Use the School Supply Play Dough Mats

– Life Over C's Play dough mats printable for color matching.

Print and laminate the colorful mats. Since play dough is pretty messy, you might consider heavy duty plastic sleeves instead of laminating.

All you really have to do for the play dough mats free printable is set them out and let the children explore!

– Life Over C's School supply play dough mats printable freebie.

But, if you want to create more of a back-to-school supplies theme, consider setting up centers or learning stations for small groups of students to rotate through.

Place the play dough mats at one center with a good supply of play dough ready for rolling.

Next, set up a table with scissors and scrap paper for students to practice cutting skills. You might also include glue at the same station.

– Life Over C's School supply themed play dough mats printable.

Additional tables could include loose crayons and empty crayon boxes for students to fill, paper clips and pieces of paper to clip together, or paints, brushes and paper plates or construction paper.

You could also use the mats as labels for your classroom supply shelves!

Extension Ideas for the Free Play Dough Mats

– Life Over C's Pencil play dough mat for a hands-on back to school activity for preschool.

Get creative with play dough mats free for the taking! Using play dough for fine motor development is versatile because it can adapt to many different themes.

As preschoolers work those small muscles, they can also work their brains!

  • Before or after creating school supplies with play dough, go on a classroom scavenger hunt to find the real supplies!
  • Incorporate gross motor skills into the scavenger hunt by asking children to run/hop/skip/jump/tiptoe as they search the room for school supplies.
  • Explore letter sounds by identifying the first sound of the school supply pictures.
  • Keep the set of free printables at the play dough table for easy access anytime.
  • Display a large word search of school supply names. Complete together, perhaps adding one or two each day during the first weeks of school.
  • Back-to-school vocabulary is new for many preschoolers. Prepare them for future elementary school years by engaging in lots of conversations about school supplies to help them learn, remember and talk.

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– Life Over C's School Supply play dough mats printable for preschoolers.
– Life Over C's school supply play dough mats fine motor activity for preschool
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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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