Making homemade playdough is easy and fun!  (A little messy too, but that can just add to the fun.)  Making playdough is something you could assign to your students.  Then, have them use it for sculpting assignments or stress relief.  (Great for some SEL!)

Our focus today, though is on how to first make playdough and then how you can use it for a great SEL lesson about what you can and can’t control.  This is such an important topic to address with your students and using playdough makes for such a great kinesthetic and visual representation of this concept. 

This video was created so that you can send the instructions and the SEAL lesson to your students.  Just start playing from 1:30 using this link:

Have fun,






Play dough… It’s really so much fun to play with, isn’t it?

You know, it’s no wonder why students love to have playdough or putty in their hands when they’re in our classrooms, right?

Even as frustrating as that sometimes is, there really is something to playing with play-dough or putty. 

Now that our students are home, we can actually assign making play-dough to them, and today I’ve got a recipe, a really simple, homemade, play dough recipe that I’m going to share with you.

I hear from so many teachers and one of the concerns with remote teaching is that we just don’t know what kind of materials our students have at home.  Well to make play dough you need very simple materials that probably everybody does have at home and once the kids have the play dough, you could actually assign different things.  You could assign the mixing of colors or sculpting things and taking pictures of it and posting it in your classrooms.

There are some really great possibilities and if you stick around to the end of the video, I’m also going to share with you a fantastic SEL lesson that you can have with play dough.


RECIPE for Play Dough:

First, you’re going to mix together one cup of flour and a half a cup of salt.

Then slowly drizzle in a half a cup of water and mix this all together.

If things get a little sticky, just add a little bit of flour and if it gets too dry, of course, you can add a little bit of water.

You’ll get the good consistency that you want, then separate your dough into however many colors you want to create.

I like to protect my surface when I am about to add the color, so I always have placemat handy for this.

Then you’re going to put some food coloring into the thumbprint of each of the balls and start mixing.

If the dough starts getting too sticky or watery just add some flour.

Of course, you don’t want to forget to clean up your mess when you’re done.

And now it’s time to have some fun with playdough.

If the play dough is too sticky, you can add flour or a little bit of vegetable oil, and that seems to really make the play dough feel nice and move very smoothly.

Be sure to store your play dough in a container and they should last up to four weeks.


A SEAL Lesson with Play Dough!

Now we’re all going through some pretty interesting times right now.  There’s a lot of uncertainty and even if you’ve found a way to build some structure into your day and you’ve found some routines of how to get your lessons done during the day, there are some things that are still a little uneasy to us.

Maybe it’s stressful, maybe it’s just giving us a little bit of anxiety.

Well I’d like you to use your play dough as a way to help you understand certain things you can and can’t control during this time.

What You Can and Can’t Control

So this lesson comes from a wonderful lady, Krystal Deterding, and her resource is actually inside the remote teaching resource pack. She was very generous and allowed me to put it inside there so that you could use it as well, and so I’d like to show you just basically what the lesson is about.

So first I’ve got this rock and when I hold the rock I can move it in my hands and I can put it back and forth, but if I try to squeeze it, I just can’t do much to it. It’s a rock!  There’s nothing I can do to it really. 

But if I take some of the playdough that I just made and I move it around in my hands, I can mold it. I can squeeze it. I can flatten it. I can put it into all kinds of different shapes.

Now there are some things during this time, during different times in my life, that I don’t have much control over, things that no matter what I do, I just can’t control them.  And you know during this time I might feel a little worried or anxious or scared, and this is when I want to really think about what are some things that I can’t control.

However, there are some things that I can, that’s why I have the play dough to show me when I look at this, I think about the things that I do have control over.

I have control over certain things in my life right now, such as how much TV am I going to be watching? How much of the news am I going to be watching?

What else can I control? I can control my attitude towards things. I can control how I treat others during this uncertain time. I can control how I help around the house or the schedule that I make for myself to get certain things accomplished during the day and give me that feeling of satisfaction.

I can control my hand washing my brushing of my teeth, taking care of myself. These are the things that I can control and I think it’s wonderful that now that we have this play dough and we can allow the play dough to remember all the things that we do have control of.

And you know what?  Sometimes we need to just let go of the things we can’t control.

Enjoy Playing!

Ao I hope you have some fun with your playdough. I hope you have a chance to make some and let me know in the comments what kind of things you can control during these times of uncertainty, and you know what?  ANY time during your life, where you have some uncertainty or a little bit of anxiety, always keep in mind your playdough.

There are things in your life that you can control and it’s good to make sure that you remember them and list them every once in a while.

I hope you have a great day and I hope you have some fun making some playdough!


FREE Remote Teaching Resource Pack 

Get your hands on this folder of resources which includes:

✅Learning from Home 10 page resource for students including printable activity pages.

✅ Teaching from Home 10 page resource for YOU to help you with this transition and keep you organized and creative.

✅ A digitally fill-outable schedule.

✅ A video you can share with your students teaching them a fun movement game.

✅ A video showing students how to create a mini-book you can use for just about any assignment.

✅ An activity to help students understand what they do and do not have control over during this time.

✅ Poetry resource How to Make a Dada Poem

Grab access to this fantastic folder filled with FREE resources!

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