Ice Cream Play Dough Mat Thank You

Thank you for grabbing the Ice Cream Play Dough Mat! You should have an email in your inbox right now with a link to access the file. 

The email also includes some instructions and the “why” behind play dough mats like this one. There is a lot of development going on when a little one uses a play dough mat like the one you just accessed! Scroll below to to find some additional usage instructions.

Use this free printable ice cream play dough mat to work on fine motor skills in kids.

Housekeeping Information:

If you do not see the email right away, check back within 30 minutes. Be sure to check your SPAM folder.  Other subscribers using an email hosted on a school system’s email provider may have security restrictions in place that block the email. If you still don’t see the email, shoot me a message at and I will send the file to you directly.

If you arrived here by accident and would like to receive a free ice cream themed play dough mat to improve hand strength, check out this post that shares information on the Ice Cream Play Dough Mat.

How to use Improve Intrinsic Hand Strength with a Play Dough Mat

You are going to build so many small muscles of the hand with this activity!

1. To use this play dough mat, you will first want to cover it with a plastic surface so you can use it over and over again. Some ideas to do this include (Amazon affiliate links are included below):

  • Cover it with clear contact paper. Click the link to purchase a large roll of clear contact paper.
  • Slide the play dough mat into a clear plastic page protector sleeve. Add it to a folder workbook or binder booklet of play dough mats for quiet time or a busy bag-type of activity.
  • Use a laminator to cover the play dough mat with a laminated surface that can be used over and over again. This is a great price on a quick laminator and laminating pouches.
  • Use pocket sleeves to create a quiet time or fine motor center activity.

2. Once the play dough mat is covered, provide the child with play dough, clay, foam dough, or other moldable material.

3. Ask the child to roll small balls of play dough using just the fingers and thumb of one hand. They should use their dominant hand to roll small balls of play dough with the tips of the fingers and thumb. This is an AWESOME hand strengthening exercise for kids. 

4. Ask the child or children to roll various sizes of play dough so the balls of dough fit into the various circle sizes on the play dough mat. 

Rolling play dough within one hand promotes development of a variety of areas: 

  • Strengthens the arches of the hands, helps awareness and coordination in separation of the two sides of the hand.
  • Promotes finger isolation for improved control and dexterity
  • Encourages dexterity and coordination of the thumb and index finger which are important in pencil grasp
  • Strengthens the intrinsic muscles for improved endurance in fine motor tasks such as maintaining hold on a pencil, manipulating clothing fasteners, managing and using scissors, coloring, and many other tasks.


Be sure to try some of the other fine motor activities that we have here on the website:

 Scooping and pouring fine motor and hand dominance with beads


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