How to Make a Space Theme Playdough Tray


Easily create a space theme playdough tray for your preschoolers with these great material ideas. Your kids will love creating with this invitation to play.

For some kids, a space-themed unit is one of the most exciting science units of study in the preschool school year.  Do you have a space-themed unit in your curriculum?

Space theme playdough tray

If you do…..have you ever put together a space-themed playdough tray?  Today, I have lots of ideas to help you put one together.

I added several links at the bottom of this post to help you find materials faster. Just an FYI….the links are affiliate links.  Here’s how it works….I may earn a small portion of your purchase, but you will not be charged an additional fee when you purchase from the link.

Why Make a Playdough Tray?

I love playdough trays!  One bonus is that they are pretty easy to put together.  I LOVE putting them together.  Most importantly, the variety of materials in a playdough tray encourages open-ended exploration.

Due to COVID, your kids may not be able to share supplies.  Don’t worry!  Use the playdough tray ideas below to make easy, individual playdough kits for your kids.

How to Make a Space-Themed Playdough Tray


The first thing that you need to start with is playdough.  If you want to make your own playdough, you can try out my favorite quick playdough recipeWhite playdough is fun for a space theme, but really, any color will work.  Add some mix-ins to your playdough for some extra fun.

Find a Divided Tray

Next, you need some kind of divided tray.  Teachers always ask me where I get the playdough trays that are pictured in my blog posts.  The Dollar Tree usually has a few fun colorful trays at the bargain price of $1.  Some of the bright trays that I use (including this cobalt blue one pictured here) were purchased at Lakeshore Learning.  These trays are a bit more expensive than the dollar deals, but they are also sturdier.

Fill it with Materials

Finally, you need to add some fun thematic materials to your tray.  If you have some plastic astronaut figures….add them to the tray.

Fill your space theme playdough tray with materials.

Add some “space rocks” to the tray.  Make space rocks by covering rocks with foil and pounding the foil down with a mallet.  You can also make space rocks by compacting a ball of aluminum foil with a mallet.

These shiny rocks can also be used for astronaut training or space research activities in a space dramatic play area.

Space themed playdough tray.

I love repurposing materials and/or finding materials in unusual places.  I took a walk through the plumbing aisle of my local home improvement store and found some nylon tubes that can be used for all kinds of space-themed creations.

Don’t forget those plastic bottle caps – one of my favorite classroom materials.  Kids can use them to make buttons for a control panel, wheels for moon rovers, or whatever their creative minds come up with.

Space themed playdough tray.

You can also add some of the following materials:

  • thematic erasers (I had some stars)
  • springs
  • nuts and bolts
  • spiral bindings
  • shape cookie cutters
  • foam pieces
  • toothpicks
  • beads
  • number cards
Materials for your space themed playdough tray.

Let Them Play

Now that you have assembled some fun materials, stand back and let your kids play.

Let them play with their space themed playdough tray.

I always enjoy seeing how they use the materials.

Space themed playdough tray.

I hope that you and your kids enjoy using your space theme playdough tray.  Let me know how it goes.  Are you looking for additional ideas for your space theme?  Check out these cool ideas for a space dramatic play center.

White playdough space themed playdough tray.

I listed some items below that you can use for the activities mentioned in this article. The links below are affiliate links. Amazon will not charge you an additional fee if you purchase something from a link, but a small portion of your purchase will be used towards the cost of maintaining this website.

I think that you will also love the following activities in my store.  Click on the image below to check them out.

space station dramatic play area
science themed dramatic play activity bundle