How to Make a Gingerbread Playdough Tray for your Kids

Find lots of ideas to help you easily make a gingerbread playdough tray. Your kids will love using the materials to make fun gingerbread themed creations.


I love making gingerbread cookies at Christmas time.  The only problem is that I have no self-control when it comes to homemade cookies.  I end up eating WAY TOO MANY cookies.

Find lots of ideas to help you easily make a gingerbread #playdough tray. Your kids will love using the materials to make fun gingerbread themed creations. This is a perfect open-ended and fine motor activity for your #preschool #prek classroom. Use for Christmas theme or gingerbread theme unit or lesson plans or with a study of the gingerbread man book. A fun fine motor activity with ideas for hands-on math and counting activities. #gingerbreadtheme #finemotoractivities

This playdough tray will be a fun treat for your kids. But beware….If you are anything like me, you will become hungry for sweet gingerbread treats.

If your kids can’t share supplies, don’t worry.  You can use the ideas below to create individual playdough kits for your kids.

Gingerbread Playdough

If you are making a gingerbread playdough tray, you probably want to add some gingerbread playdough.  I recommend using my quick playdough recipe and adding a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon and a teaspoon or so of ginger, cloves, and nutmeg……or you can add some pumpkin pie spice.  There really isn’t a magic recipe.

You can use the spices that you have on hand and mix in enough so that the playdough is fragrant and brown in color.  Mine smelled up the WHOLE room….in a very GOOD way.

Assemble a Playdough Tray

Now that you have playdough, you just have to find a tray to hold several different materials.   Use any kind of divided tray to store the materials.  I often find divided trays at the dollar store.

Finally, you can gather materials to fill the tray.  This is the fun part!  

I cut green and red striped paper straws.  They look like candy canes without the sticky mess.  You can also use candy cane pipe cleaners or candy cane ornaments.

Find lots of ideas to help you easily make a gingerbread #playdough tray. Your kids will love using the materials to make fun gingerbread themed creations. This is a perfect open-ended and fine motor activity for your #preschool #prek classroom. Use for Christmas theme or gingerbread theme unit or lesson plans or with a study of the gingerbread man book. A fun fine motor activity with ideas for hands-on math and counting activities. #gingerbreadtheme #finemotoractivities

To give the tray a Christmasy feel, add some evergreen branches.  I found these at the dollar store and cut them into smaller segments.  You can also use decorative evergreen or holly craft picks, cut pieces of garland, or even the real deal….evergreen branches.

Find lots of ideas to help you easily make a gingerbread #playdough tray. Your kids will love using the materials to make fun gingerbread themed creations. This is a perfect open-ended and fine motor activity for your #preschool #prek classroom. Use for Christmas theme or gingerbread theme unit or lesson plans or with a study of the gingerbread man book. A fun fine motor activity with ideas for hands-on math and counting activities. #gingerbreadtheme #finemotoractivities

I added some plastic candy ornaments to my tray.  These are little tiny ornaments that are used to decorate small table-top trees.  I found them at the craft store.  Be on the look after Christmas for some holiday clearance bargains.

Don’t have these little ornaments?  No problem.  Here are a few additional ideas:

  • buttons
  • beads/baubles
  • gems
  • real peppermint candy

Find lots of ideas to help you easily make a gingerbread #playdough tray. Your kids will love using the materials to make fun gingerbread themed creations. This is a perfect open-ended and fine motor activity for your #preschool #prek classroom. Use for Christmas theme or gingerbread theme unit or lesson plans or with a study of the gingerbread man book. A fun fine motor activity with ideas for hands-on math and counting activities. #gingerbreadtheme #finemotoractivities

I happened to have a bunch of old rick rack from my mom’s old sewing boxes.  I chose several pretty colors and cut them into small pieces.  You can cut some foam pieces into zig-zag strips or you can use yarn or ribbon.

Find lots of ideas to help you easily make a gingerbread #playdough tray. Your kids will love using the materials to make fun gingerbread themed creations. This is a perfect open-ended and fine motor activity for your #preschool #prek classroom. Use for Christmas theme or gingerbread theme unit or lesson plans or with a study of the gingerbread man book. A fun fine motor activity with ideas for hands-on math and counting activities. #gingerbreadtheme #finemotoractivities

Finally, I added beads and jingle bells to my playdough tray.  Have fun gathering materials for your tray.  Here are some additional items that you can use.

  • pieces of thin garland
  • small flowers
  • fabric scraps
  • googly eyes
  • cinnamon sticks

Additional Materials

Remember when I said that I love making gingerbread cookies?  Well, I also have gingerbread cookie cutters in a variety of sizes.  I added a small rolling pin.  If you don’t have cookie cutters, kids can just make a gingerbread man without them.

You can also add dull plastic knives, spatulas, and small cookie sheets if you like.

Find lots of ideas to help you easily make a gingerbread #playdough tray. Your kids will love using the materials to make fun gingerbread themed creations. This is a perfect open-ended and fine motor activity for your #preschool #prek classroom. Use for Christmas theme or gingerbread theme unit or lesson plans or with a study of the gingerbread man book. A fun fine motor activity with ideas for hands-on math and counting activities. #gingerbreadtheme #finemotoractivities

Open-Ended Play

Now that you have playdough and a variety of materials, you can stand back and watch your kids create.  They might make gingerbread men or gingerbread houses.

Find lots of ideas to help you easily make a gingerbread #playdough tray. Your kids will love using the materials to make fun gingerbread themed creations. This is a perfect open-ended and fine motor activity for your #preschool #prek classroom. Use for Christmas theme or gingerbread theme unit or lesson plans or with a study of the gingerbread man book. A fun fine motor activity with ideas for hands-on math and counting activities. #gingerbreadtheme #finemotoractivities

Or they might just have fun exploring all of the supplies and being creative.

Find lots of ideas to help you easily make a gingerbread #playdough tray. Your kids will love using the materials to make fun gingerbread themed creations. This is a perfect open-ended and fine motor activity for your #preschool #prek classroom. Use for Christmas theme or gingerbread theme unit or lesson plans or with a study of the gingerbread man book. A fun fine motor activity with ideas for hands-on math and counting activities. #gingerbreadtheme #finemotoractivities

Math and Literacy Learning

Add gingerbread number cards to the playdough tray so that kids can work on number concepts.

Find lots of ideas to help you easily make a gingerbread #playdough tray. Your kids will love using the materials to make fun gingerbread themed creations. This is a perfect open-ended and fine motor activity for your #preschool #prek classroom. Use for Christmas theme or gingerbread theme unit or lesson plans or with a study of the gingerbread man book. A fun fine motor activity with ideas for hands-on math and counting activities. #gingerbreadtheme #finemotoractivities

You can also add playdough mats.  This is a fun, hands-on way to work on counting.

Find lots of ideas to help you easily make a gingerbread #playdough tray. Your kids will love using the materials to make fun gingerbread themed creations. This is a perfect open-ended and fine motor activity for your #preschool #prek classroom. Use for Christmas theme or gingerbread theme unit or lesson plans or with a study of the gingerbread man book. A fun fine motor activity with ideas for hands-on math and counting activities. #gingerbreadtheme #finemotoractivities

I hope that you enjoy putting together a gingerbread playdough tray for your kids.  Did you find some fun materials to add?  Please share in the comments below.

Ok….I can’t handle the delicious smell anymore. I’m off to make some gingerbread cookies.

Additional Gingerbread Resources

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