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Ladybug Themed Playdough Activity {Playdough Recipe Included}

Ladybug Themed Playdough Activity {Playdough Recipe Included}

Today we’re sharing the first of several ladybug themed activities. First up is our ladybug themed playdough activity, which is just perfect for toddlers, preschoolers, and even those in grade school. Who am I kidding, this activity is fun for the adults too! 😉 Read on to see all the fun we had with this activity + learn how to get this printable pack for free.

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Supplies You’ll Need for this Ladybug Activity

Playdough (find our one-pot family recipe here)

Ladybug printable (all the info for that is below)

Black food color powder

Red food coloring

Pom poms

Mini rolling pin

Plastic play knife

Divided tray

Silicon baking cups (optional)

What to Do

Begin by making a batch or two (we typically make one batch per child or two) of our one-pot playdough. This is our tried and true recipe that is super easy to make. UPDATE: We’ve been making this no-cook playdough all the time. It’s our favorite way to make playdough fast! However, if you’re not up to making homemade playdough this time around, store bought playdough will work just fine too! After you’ve made your playdough, allow it to cool a few minutes and then carefully plop it onto a sheet of parchment paper. Allow it to cool several more minutes. While it cools, you can take out your additional supplies needed for the activity and place them in your divided tray.

How to make playdough - sharing the family recipe for playdough at @theartkit

Once your playdough has cooled enough to handle, divide it into thirds – add red food coloring to 2/3 of the playdough and add black food coloring to 1/3 of the playdough.

In the past, we’ve used liquid watercolors or gel coloring but we recently discovered something even better to color our playdough black – black food color powder. It is surprisingly easy to use and less messy than the liquid watercolors or gel coloring.

Simply make a bit of an indentation in your playdough, sprinkle some powder in the middle of your playdough (we poked a small hole in the foil seal of the powder so only a small amount would come out when we shook the container), and fold your playdough over and over until the powder has been incorporated. Continue adding more powder and folding your playdough until it has reached the desired shade.

We typically wear disposable gloves while coloring playdough, just to keep our hands from coming out rainbow colored, but if you don’t have any on hand, you could always place the playdough (along with the food coloring that you’ve just added) on a piece of plastic wrap and use the plastic wrap as a sort of shield while you fold the food coloring into the playdough.

Once your playdough has been colored, place it into your divided tray, along with the other materials, and invite your child to play.

playdough activities ladybug nature playdough recipe the art kit blog

You could place the ladybug printable inside a dry erase pocket and invite your child to recreate the ladybug using playdough. Or, perhaps your child would like to create their own ladybug, using playdough and pom poms for the spots.

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You could also incorporate the number cards by placing a number card on their work surface and asking them to place that particular number of spots on their ladybug.

We used a 2″ hole punch to punch out our number cards (Miss 6 helped with this) but of course scissors would work just fine too if you don’t have a punch on hand – although we have used our punch many times and love that it saves us SO much time and eliminates sore hands from cutting.

playdough activities ladybug counting nature playdough recipe the art kit blog

You could also include a pair of child sized tweezers and invite them to use those when picking up and placing the ladybug spots.

Maybe your child wants to use their time with this playdough in a different way – that’s fine too – it’s all part of their creative process. I go into every playdough activity with the expectation that all the playdough will be either left out (typically on purpose because the children want their creations dried so they can keep them, but sometimes accidentally) or items will be added that will make it unusable for a future playdough activity (such as adding flowers or grass cuttings).

By keeping this mindset, I am not stressed if the playdough doesn’t make it past this activity. 😉 By simply changing the mindset, I’ve noticed it also results in less stress during the activity. Let your child have fun and enjoy their time – that’s what this is all about anyhow, right? 🙂

playdough activities ladybug craft nature playdough recipe the art kit blog

This printable can be found on page 18 of the resource library.

How did your children enjoy this activity? Let us know in the comment section below.

Did you enjoy this activity? Please share on social media! Or, pin for later.

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Want more? Be sure to check out some of our other fun activities:

Animated paper plate flower craft

Watermelon playdough activity

Pom pom cupcake liner craft

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Janice White

Saturday 19th of September 2020

I can't find the button to print the lady bug. Pls advise. Thanks, Janice

The Art Kit

Sunday 20th of September 2020

Hi, It is on page 18 of the resource library; here is the direct link: https://www.theartkitblog.com/resource-library/18/

Enjoy! :)