How to Make a Construction Themed Playdough Tray

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Learn how to gather a bunch of materials to create a construction themed playdough tray. Your kids will love this thematic invitation to play.


I love putting together playdough invitations to play.  It’s so much fun digging through my craft closet looking for supplies.

For this construction themed playdough tray, I even dug through the garage for supplies.  I will just have to be sure to wash off every bit of playdough when I’m done or my husband will never let me raid his workshop again.

Learn how to gather a bunch of materials to create a construction themed playdough tray. You will find LOTS of ideas for materials to use. Your kids will love this thematic invitation to play. It's perfect for your construction theme or building theme unit and lesson plans in your preschool or pre-k classroom. Use the tray for a fine motor and/or sensory activity, but there are also ideas to mix in hands-on engaging math and literacy activities as well. #playdough

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

Every Playdough Tray Needs Playdough

The most important part of a playdough invitation to play is, of course, playdough.  If you want to make some thematic dough, be sure to check out my post featuring construction themed playdough recipes and ideas.

Learn how to gather a bunch of materials to create a construction themed playdough tray. You will find LOTS of ideas for materials to use. Your kids will love this thematic invitation to play. It's perfect for your construction theme or building theme unit and lesson plans in your preschool or pre-k classroom. Use the tray for a fine motor and/or sensory activity, but there are also ideas to mix in hands-on engaging math and literacy activities as well. #playdough

Fill the Playdough Tray

Use a divided tray to hold all of the fun materials for your kids.  Here is what I used to fill my tray:

  • plastic bottle caps
  • nuts, bolts, and washers,
  • granite tiles (I found them at the Habitat ReStore)
  • two sizes/colors of pebbles (vase fillers)
  • A variety of popsicle and wooden sticks
  • number cards

Learn how to gather a bunch of materials to create a construction themed playdough tray. You will find LOTS of ideas for materials to use. Your kids will love this thematic invitation to play. It's perfect for your construction theme or building theme unit and lesson plans in your preschool or pre-k classroom. Use the tray for a fine motor and/or sensory activity, but there are also ideas to mix in hands-on engaging math and literacy activities as well. #playdough

Finally, add some construction vehicles and you are all set.

Additional Material Ideas

The fun thing about these activities is you can get really creative when filling your tray.  Here are some additional material ideas.

  • golf tees and hammers
  • wrenches (allen, crescent, socket)
  • screwdrivers
  • putty knives
  • zip ties
  • spools
  • blocks
  • springs
  • beans, black beans
  • tape measures or rulers
  • rolling pins
  • pieces of cardboard
  • drill bits
  • toothpicks
  • short dowels

Let Them Play

Your kids will have a great time finding different ways to use the materials.  Add some wrenches, screwdrivers, and putty knives to the mix.

Learn how to gather a bunch of materials to create a construction themed playdough tray. You will find LOTS of ideas for materials to use. Your kids will love this thematic invitation to play. It's perfect for your construction theme or building theme unit and lesson plans in your preschool or pre-k classroom. Use the tray for a fine motor and/or sensory activity, but there are also ideas to mix in hands-on engaging math and literacy activities as well. #playdough

I love the textures that can be made with the bolts.

Learn how to gather a bunch of materials to create a construction themed playdough tray. You will find LOTS of ideas for materials to use. Your kids will love this thematic invitation to play. It's perfect for your construction theme or building theme unit and lesson plans in your preschool or pre-k classroom. Use the tray for a fine motor and/or sensory activity, but there are also ideas to mix in hands-on engaging math and literacy activities as well. #playdough

Opportunities for Math and Literacy Learning

Using playdough is a great sensory, fine motor, and creative activity for your kids.  You can also introduce math and early literacy concepts.

Learn how to gather a bunch of materials to create a construction themed playdough tray. You will find LOTS of ideas for materials to use. Your kids will love this thematic invitation to play. It's perfect for your construction theme or building theme unit and lesson plans in your preschool or pre-k classroom. Use the tray for a fine motor and/or sensory activity, but there are also ideas to mix in hands-on engaging math and literacy activities as well. #playdough

Here are some ideas:

  • Add number playdough mats or number cards to the playdough tray.  Kids can count the materials.
  • Write letters on the rocks and kids can find letters in their names or spell their names.
  • Add alphabet playdough mats to the playdough tray.

I hope that you have fun creating a construction themed playdough tray for your kids.  I can’t wait to hear how it goes.  Now, I’m off to clean my husband’s tools.

More Construction Theme Activities in the Store

The playdough mat and number cards pictured in this post are part of the construction themed resource in my store.  To check out the construction bundle, click on the image below.

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