Play Dough Color Match Learning Activity

Play dough is such a fun way to play and learn.  We are big fans of the fine motor fun to be had with play dough.  In fact, we’ve done other fine motor color matching activities with play dough before.  Color matching with play dough is a fun way for preschoolers and toddlers to learn colors and so much more.
 This play dough activity was great for the Toddler age range.  Learning colors, matching, sorting, and fine motor work were all involved.  Baby Girl was a big fan!  

Color matching and learning activity for Toddlers and Preschoolers


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Kids can identify colors of play dough.

Color identification activity for Toddlers

We started with a bunch of colors of play dough.  We used modeling dough, but you could also make your own play dough for learning and play.   We worked on naming all of the colors of the play dough.
Kids can work on many fine motor skills with play dough and paper clips.

Color matching activity for Toddlers

I pulled out a bunch of colored paper clips
and showed Baby Girl how to press them into the matching color.  She did pretty well with the matching of colors.  The identification is a little harder for her.  She’ll name some of the colors but stumble on others.  (Baby Girl is 2.5 years old).  She’s getting there, though!  I love that she loves activities like this.  She was really into it.


I love the colors of this dough!


Fine Motor Activity for Toddlers, Preschoolers, and School-aged Children

Pressing those paper clips into the dough requires a tripod grasp.  The resistance of the dough is a great way to strengthen the hand, especially the arches of the hand.  This is so important for manipulating objects in self-care tasks like buttoning.  This is a great pre-handwriting activity, too.  Definitely, it’s a good warm-up activity for kids who are at the writing stage.  Pressing those paper clips into the dough would get the hand “awake” and ready for a coloring or handwriting task for older kids.  I would recommend this activity for the school aged range, too.

Picking up paper clips from a flat surface is a great way to work on fine motor skills.

Picking up the paper clips from a flat surface like the table is a great way to work on finger dexterity with children.  You’ll need a tip to tip grasp to pick up the paper clip and manipulate it within your hand.  What a work out for those little hand muscles!  In-hand manipulation is essential for tasks like managing coins, rotating a pencil in handwriting tasks, putting small objects like pegs into peg boards, and so much more.  Scatter those paper clips around the table…this is a great way to play and work on fin motor skills!

Toddlers can work on fine motor skills with play dough.

If you’re doing this activity with a younger child, be sure to keep a close eye on them.  As always, use your judgment in what works best for your child or group of children in a school setting.  The paper clips could be a choking hazard of course so if you are working with kids who may put them in their mouth, either work on one clip at a time or put this activity away for a few months.  Better yet, pin it to your Pinterest boards for safe remembering 😉

How many other ways can you think of to make this activity a learning opportunity?  Try sorting the paper clips by color or size.  Pattern the colors of dough or paper clips.  Count the paper clips as your child presses them into the dough.  Ask him or her to press a certain number of clips into each dough ball.  Sequence the number of paper clips that you’ve pressed into the dough.  There is SO much learning happening here!

Looking for more play dough activities?  We’ve been having a blast pinning to our play dough, clay, goop, and more board: