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Busy Hands: Underwater Theme Play Dough

Play dough can be an endless source of creative activities for kids. Recently, I put together a play dough activity for Little Dude with an underwater theme. If you would like to make play dough at home, I recommend this easy No Cook Play Dough recipe from The Imagination Tree. By making it at home, you can create different colours, themes, and textures.

Underwater or Ocean Theme Play Dough

These are the things I put together from this Underwater Play Dough activity:


- Play dough in baby pink, sea green, orange, and powder blue.

- Tiny sea shells

- Pom poms

- Green pipe cleaner cut into small pieces

- Shape cutters in star, sea shell, dolphin shapes

- Moulds (from the beach toy set) in turtle, fish, and sea horse shapes

- A butter spread for cutting the play dough

- Toy rolling pin

- Circle block

- Blue card paper (you can also glue blue paper on any card stock like I did)

- Large tray (to place the paper in), but you can do this on a table as well

Underwater Play Dough Elements

I placed the blue card sheet on a large tray, and gave Little Dude all the elements. He first cut out the shapes of the turtle and sea horse, and then rolled out some play dough to place on the sea floor. To it, he added the sea shells and the green pipe cleaner for seaweed. The pom poms were used as sea urchins. We also made a fish by cutting out a circle and then a triangle. It was his idea to make some bubbles with the blue play dough.

Playing with underwater play dough

Here's what our underwater play dough scene looked like, complete with a dolphin, fishes, and a star fish:

Play dough underwater scene

We later added sea anemone using a garlic press, combining the blue and green play dough:

Play dough underwater scene

Themed play dough is a wonderful way to teach about specific concepts through creative play.

The underwater play dough activity is a great way to learn about:


  • Shapes, and combining them to make objects
  • Underwater animals
  • Imagining underwater scenes
  • Basic concept of an ocean ecosystem 
  • Linking specific colours to certain objects (blue for water, green for plants)
This would make a fun activity for toddlers and preschoolers, as it lets them create their own scenes. We plan to do more theme activities in future as we introduce new concepts in our everyday learning.

Busy Hands activities and craft for kids


(Busy Hands is a series about activities and craft 
you can do with toddlers and young children).

This post has been linked to:
Let Kids Be Kids // Tuesday Pintorials //
The Weekly Kids Co-Op
Toddler Art 6340295185206085503

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15 comments

Kim Carberry said...

Great ideas.....I'm planning on using that recipe from The imagination tree too this week when we make play dough x

Paul Wandason said...

Great idea! Our regular play dough always ends up as a hard dry lump of nondescript colour!

Mum Liya said...

Great idea... Play-dough never last more than a day in our household... They all get mixed up with added water to make them turn something else.. Love this idea. :)

Tarana said...

We are free of the water mixing now, but I'm sure he'll want to do that someday!

Tarana said...

Haha, that happens to all our play dough!

Tarana said...

It turns out great, just be careful to add the water gradually!

Karen Bell said...

Great idea for play dough fun. I love the picture he's created.
Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

Caroline Hooper said...

What a great idea, love it and pinned it! #tuesdaytutorials xx

Sara (@mumturnedmom) said...

Great activity, I haven't done play dough for a while, time to do it again I think - although I'm finding the summer holidays to be a craft free zone, too much fun to be had outside :) Pinning for later! #pintorials

Jocelyn (@ReadingRes) said...

Great idea. I don't ever think to theme our play doh sessions, but I can see this'd be fun. Thanks for the idea!

Tarana said...

Thanks, Karen!

Tarana said...

It's the other way around for us! We're stuck indoors because it's sweltering outside. There's nothing better than outdoor fun!

Tarana said...

You could try any theme that interests them, I'm sure it will be fun for your kids!

Shay Noble said...

This is such a great idea! I haven't brought out the play-doh for a while..time to get it out the cupboard I think :) x

Tarana said...

Hope your kids have fun with it!

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