Alphabet playdough mats are a wonderful teaching tool to use with children. Whether you are using them with toddlers or preschoolers to introduce letters or with students in kindergarten or early elementary to help reinforce the letters and their sound, learning through play is the most effective way.
When we first brought home two of our kids from Ethiopia, not only were they trying to learn a new language, they were trying to learn a new alphabet. I tried all of the usual methods to no avail. My kids weren’t making any progress.
It was then that I decided to try a more sensory rich approach. A big part of that was using playdough mats. We also used salt trays and sensory bins. That made all the difference!
When using playdough mats, kids can shape the dough into the desired letter which provides a sensory experience and reinforces what they are learning. In addition, they are receiving visual cues. They can also use their finger to trace the letter or can draw the shape with a dry erase marker.
How to use alphabet playdough mats:
- Print off the Transportation Alphabet Playdough Mats.
- Laminate the pages or place them into a plastic sheet protector.
- Have the child trace the letter with their finger as they say the name of the letter.
- Set out some playdough. You can find our favourite homemade playdough recipe here.
- They can then shape the playdough to form each letter of the alphabet and place it on the corresponding playdough mat.
- Have the child say the name of the transportation example that begins with that letter so that they can practise the sound each letter makes.
Ways to expand on this activity:
- Use dry erase markers to trace inside the letter or colour the letter in.
- Name words that start with that letter.
- Set out cookie cutters in the shape of the letters. The child can then use that to press into the dough and reinforce learning of each letter.
- Put out alphabet stamps which can be used to stamp impressions into the playdough.
- Use slime instead of playdough to shape the letters.
- Fill the letters with stickers.
- Use bingo dabbers.
- Make a collage of things that start with each letter and glue them on the plastic sleeve around the letter.
The benefits of using these playdough mats printable worksheets:
- reinforcing the ABCs.
- practise fine motor skills.
- get visual, tactile, and proprioceptive sensory input (olfactory too if you use scented playdough!).
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Check out some of our other free playdough mats for kids: