Play to Learn :: Learn to Play

Arts and crafts for toddlers and children.

Making Play Dough Pictures from Simple Shapes

Medium: Play-Doh with shape cutters

View the demonstration on YouTube

Did you know that you can make pictures with simple shapes? Let's dive into a fun craft. The ingredients are simple. Just find your favorite colors of Play-Doh and some shape cutters. Circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, hexagons... whichever shapes you like!

Once you have your dough and shape cutters, just find a good surface to work on, like a wooden table, a plastic table, or a plastic mat. Flatten the playdough. Now use your shape cutters to make your triangles, circles, and squares.

Making Play Doh Plants with Simple Shapes

The best place to start is with plants and trees. Let's begin with a spruce tree. All we need is a triangle shape cutter. Lay your Play Doh flat. Press in the cutter and make three triangles. Line the triangles on top of each other. That's it! Now you have a fir tree, the right-side tree on the picture below.

View the demonstration on YouTube

Now let's make a spruce tree. Let's cut out two hearts and one triangle. Arrange them as seen above. We have a robust Norway Spruce Tree. With these two trees, we can make an Alpine landscape from playdough.

Hearts can make flowers. Find your favorite Play-Doh color. Cut out four hearts. Wheel them together in a circular pattern, as shown below.

Making Complex Pictures with Simple Shapes

Simple playdough cutouts can make complex pictures. Let's make a robot. This picture requires an oval, three triangles, one square, and two circles. The oval is the head. The square is the body. One triangle is the neck, and the other two are the arms. The robot's wheels are made from the two circles.

Now on to something really neat. Let's make a dinosaur! We can use multiple-sized circles for this project. First, we need two big circles, and two small circles, as well as an oval. We also need six triangles and two squares. Refer to the picture below to see the finished Stegosaurus.

The two large circles will form the main body shape. Put a square under each large circle to form legs. Make his tail with an oval and a small circle. A small circle will form his neck, and a triangle makes his head. Now for the fun part. Using a very stylish color, align five triangles along the dinosaur's back to make the Stegosaurus' plates.

What pictures can you make with simple shapes?