Play Dough Treasure

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Alex’s favourite book at the moment is “Planes Fire Rescue” Busy Book from Disney. It comes with small character figurines. So I decided to make an activity using these small figurines whilst he’s so into it. Using their current object or theme of interest means you can ensure they are extra excited and motivated.

In this activity I used home made play dough to hide his little characters. He needs to use his tactile sense to try to uncover the toys and figure out which play dough balls they are in. Recommended for children 2 years and over.

As the child squeeze each play dough to find out what’s inside it, it helps him to strengthen tactile discrimination. It would also enhances his proprioception, a process by which the body can vary muscle contraction in immediate response to incoming information such as when he found something inside. In response their  muscle would contract more to peel the play dough. When he pulls the play dough off his favourite figurines, it improves motor planning, fine motor skills as well as bilateral coordination.

We played this game over a few days. On the first day, 2 out of the 6 yellow balls have little opening to help him discover something hiding inside. The next day, I hid his toys amongst 12 balls. Alex was ecstatic each time he found his favourite characters. In the middle of play, he came up with an idea of using another object (my hair clip) to poke/prod the dough and find his toys quicker. We also encourage him to classify and count the balls by colour.


  • 2 cups of Plain flour
  • 4 tablespoons of Cream of tartar
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • A few drops of food colouring
  • Essential Oils (optional)
  • Small toys/figurine


  1. No-cook play dough recipe: Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Gradually add the warm (more to hot temperature) water and lastly the oil. Knead it well. Then add a few drop of food colouring and a few drops of essential oil, knead it until they all combined.
  2. Lightly pack playdough around each of little toy.
  3. In the beginning, leave a little opening in the playdough, so that the child can use his vision to see that there’s something inside.
  4. Ask the child to uncover it.
  5. You could provide the following challenge is to cover the whole toys this time and maybe offer some empty balls (without any toys inside it).
  6. Ask the child to discover the toys through tactile discrimination.



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