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Making Dough

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Make sure everyone washes their hands before making or playing with dough

Age Group


Preschoolers (3-5 years)

Skill Builders


Science Concepts


Math Concepts

Skill Builder - Language Development

Language Development

What You'll Need

Placemat or tray
Bowl and measuring cups
Large spoon
Safety scissors or plastic knife
1 cup flour
1/2 cup table salt
1/2 cup water
Objects with different textures
Zip-top plastic bag
Optional: food coloring, powdered drink mixes, or flavored extracts

Let's Begin

  1. Choose a place that will be easy to clean up.
    A tray or place-mat will help contain the messes.
  2. Help your child measure the salt and flour into the measuring cup.
    Then, pour into your bowl.
  3. Help your child slowly pour the water into the flour mixture. Stir.
    When the dough gets to stiff to stir, have your child use her hands to knead it to a consistency she likes.
  4. When not in use, store dough for up to 1-month in the zip-top plastic bag.

Play with the dough together. Use the scissors or plastic knife to cut the dough. Press textured objects into the dough to make patterns.

For a more unique experience, add food safe coloring, flavors, or scents to the water.

CDC Milestones

Curious about your child’s development? All children develop at their own pace, but the Center for Disease Control’s developmental milestones can be a helpful guideline. Here are a few examples:

  • Shows fear in some situations
  • Puts things in a container, takes things out of a container
  • Looks at the right picture or thing when it’s named
  • Explores alone but with parent close by
  • Can follow 1-step verbal commands without any gestures
  • Drinks from a cup
  • Shows more and more independence
  • Knows names of familiar people and body parts
  • Might use one hand more than the other

Additional family resources

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Early Learning with ECA

Learning begins at birth. ECA provides foundations for learning, starting with age-appropriate experiences for infants, toddlers, and preschool. ECA also offers a range of family support programs that encourage family involvement with children’s learning.

Free tips and learning games

This free texting service provides quality, developmental information for parents and caregivers of children prenatal to age eight right to your phone. Messages include research-based, age-appropriate content from national experts, along with local updates of events and resources.

Free resources at your library

Your local library has many resources for you as a parent as well as for your child. We encourage you to take advantage of all they have to offer. For an online list of libraries by city, go to

Find help in your community

Dial 2-1-1 or 1-877-502-0700 for free, confidential, 24-hour information and referral assistance. Trained 2-1-1 Specialists can connect you to local organizations that can assist you with food, housing, health care, transportation, education and more.

Use of the materials described above are done so at your own risk and any children interacting with these materials should do so only under close adult supervision.

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