This activity uses playdough and pasta as building materials to encourage a toddler’s creative thinking and build fine motor skills.
Invite your child to build or make something using playdough and dry pasta shapes. Give your child a mat, tray, or plate to work on. Pieces of the playdough can be used as “glue” to hold pieces of pasta together, or your child can flatten or squish the playdough and stick the pasta into it. Talk to your child about what she is doing and learning so that she learns words that go with her experiences. For example, you might say, “You are pushing all the pasta pieces into your playdough” or “I see how you’re using pieces of playdough to connect your pasta pieces together!”
This activity is open-ended: children can create what they want. Children may not have a goal in mind as they work with the materials, and that’s okay. They are exploring and discovering what they can make. They may also undo their work many times, for example by pushing pasta pieces into the playdough and then taking them out, or flattening their playdough and then squishing it together again.
Learning to squish, pat, pound, and roll the dough into funny shapes and making pretend structures can absorb young children’s attention for a long time while reinforcing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.