Play with Play Dough

Playing with play dough can be a great sensory activity for children who have experienced grief and loss as it can give them a sense of control in their own world as they create something uniquely their own.

I have used this many times with children who are unwell.  Adding a rolling pin (a cardboard roll will do), some plastic utensils and cutters, a mat (paper or laminated) and some plastic toys can help with the creative process.

This is a snowman was created by Alyssa.

Play dough snowman


Play Dough Recipe 


2 cups Plain Flour

2 cups boiling water

1 cup salt

2 tbsps. cream of tartar

2 tbsps. Cooking oil

Food colouring



Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Add the oil and water.

Mix together to form a dough

Halve the mix.

Add food colouring to each halve

When cool, store in an airtight container.


Links to Early Years Framework – Learning Outcomes for Children Birth to 5 Years

Outcome 4 – Children are confident and involved learners

Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity

Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating


For more information about grief and loss for children visit


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