{Play} Color Shading With Playdough

learn colors and shades with playdough

Of course, just playing around and exploring play dough is enough in and of itself.  Just ask the kids, who like to smoosh, poke, prod, push, mold, and mix it any and every which way they can imagine.kids playing with play dough

But, there are a lot of great teaching opportunities, too!  Here’s how we played with the concept of color shades recently.


  • play dough (homemade or store bought) in at least two colors

Invitation to Learn & Play

  • Can you name the different colors?
  • Try mixing two colors together – Does the play dough change color altogether? Does it get lighter? Does it get darker?
  • Can you name the new colors you created? – Here’s an opportunity to introduce more than just ROYGBIV to your little one (try chartreuse, tangerine, aqua, lavender)
  • Can you name some objects that are [color]?
  • Form balls of different colors – Which ball is lighter? Which is darker?
  • Can you line the balls up in order from lightest to darkest?
  • Think about what makes a color lighter or darker – If you add a light color to a dark color, will it get darker or lighter? Does the amount of each color matter?

learn colors and shades with playdough

This activity is easily extendable to the concept of size (big, bigger, biggest, etc.).

What are your favorite ways to incorporate some learning into your play dough play?

LEARN! Colors, color mixing, color shading, comparison, observation

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Chrissy – who has written posts on The Outlaw Mom® Blog – Creative Living in a Conventional World.

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