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Back to School season can be so exciting! Buying school supplies and prepping for loads of learning. This can also mean anxiety and stress for kids, teachers, and parents. We all know what I’m talking about, it is a roller coaster of emotions. That is where our free Back to School Alphabet Play Dough Mats come in! It’s a simple activity that has a ton of benefits – not to mention the adorable crayon, pencil, and apple design. This play dough mat set makes the perfect Back to School literacy center!
*Pair with our Back to School Centers and Activities for Pre-K & Kindergarten!
Back to School Alphabet Play Dough Mats
Teaching kids the alphabet can be done in a variety of ways including less structured, more play-like activities like this play dough mat set.
The ABC outlines are perfect for introducing both uppercase and lowercase letters as well as being a fantastic activity for kids who may need practice with letter recognition and formation. This makes for a perfect activity for the first couple weeks of Preschool or Kindergarten!
The sensory aspect of this activity is absolutely wonderful for helping to reduce stress and anxiety of children. Molding play dough has been shown to be therapeutic in many ways.
This is also helpful to reduce stress and anxiety of adults because, well, it’s a super simple activity to prep for!
Preparing the Activity
If you’re like me, in the first few weeks of school I need activities that are easy to prep! We’re busy working on rules, procedures, and other requirements to just starting the class that having simple activities such as this helps everyone.
The materials list for this ABC activity is not extensive. Like I said, it is simple.
I like to print and laminate each letter page. Lamination will help extend the life of the play dough mats so they can be used for years to come. Without lamination, the play dough will most likely stick to the paper and the activity will be good for only one-time-use.
Money Saving Tip: If you would like to save on lamination sheets, you can laminate the pages back to back. Another option to save on lamination is to slip the pages into dry erase pocket sleeves. Then you can switch them out as necessary.
How To Use With Play Dough
- The letters can be filled in completely with play dough.
- Use different colors of play dough in each letter.
- Children can create balls of play dough to make dotted lines through the letter.
- Create snakes with the play dough to ‘write’ the letters.
- Play dough tools are also fantastic for this activity!
Alternative Play Ideas:
These alphabet mats are not limited to only play dough! You can also use other objects to fill the letters like:
- Pom poms
- Dry erase markers
- Pipe cleaners
- Mini erasers
- One-Time-Use: Children could color or paint the letters
More Benefits of Play Dough in the Classroom:
- Play dough is a fantastic way to strengthen fine motor skills, which helps with pre-writing skills.
- Play dough can be calming and stress relieving.
- Encourages development of hand-eye coordination.
- Excellent sensory play activity.
- Increases creativity and imagination.
- Will help with letter recognition and letter formation.
- Is a fun way to introduce beginning sounds.
Some kids need extra encouragement to do learning activities and this can easily be done by adding a simple sensory factor. Play dough alone can be a super fun activity that most children enjoy, so adding learning to this activity is perfect!
Grab Your FREE Set
Ready for some hands-on, alphabet learning fun? Grab these free Back to School Alphabet Play Dough Mats by clicking the large, yellow download at the end of the post!
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