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Playdough Letter Printing for Letter Identification and Writing

Playdough Letter Printing for Letter Identification and Writing

My preschooler loves spotting the letters from her name (or ‘my letters’ as she calls them) when we are out and about. It’s great to see her recognizing them, and as time goes on, she can name more of them and make their sounds too. Over the summer, we have been enjoying lots of name-focused activities. The Letter Blocks have been perfect for hands-on literacy play and learning. We often use them for simple balance and building challenges, as well as matching and sorting games. We recently used them with play dough, which proved to be a big hit with my 4-year-old.

What you need:

  • Playdough
  • Rolling pin
  • Baking tray and toothpicks (optional)


Let’s Get Set Up

My little one loves playdough, and so do I. It turns any literacy or numeracy-focused activity into a fun, hands-on sensory experience and works those all-important fine motor skills nice and hard. I like to make my playdough, and I always follow this great no-cook recipe from You can add scents and colors to help peak engagement too. I made four different colors and set them out in small balls as this makes it a little more manageable for small hands when it comes to squishing and rolling the dough.

I also put out my little one’s name in the Letter Blocks, a small baking tray, and some toothpicks. My four-year-old always manages to turn any set-up into some form of a food activity, so I’ve learned to embrace and pre-empt it. I knew she would love it if I invited her to come and make name cookies!

Let’s Get Letter Printing

As soon as the activity started, my daughter knew it would be all about ‘her letters,’ and she loved that. She pointed to each letter and named it. We spent a little time together saying the sounds and choosing our favorite of the letters. Her focus then turned to the colorful play dough, and I invited her to use the Letter Blocks as printing tools. She liked that for each letter, she could choose a different color of play dough to use.

She would choose the color, give it a squish down on the table, and then use the rolling pin to make it thinner. She chose a Letter Block and pushed it hard into the dough to make the print. As she removed the block she could see the letter print clearly left in the dough. She lifted it up off the table and then proudly added it to her baking tray.

This printing process was working several skills all at once. She was being exposed to the letters in her name and improving her ability to recognize them and say their name and sound. She was also building her sensory confidence by playing with the playdough and developing her fine motor skills. Most of all, though, she was having a blast and not even realizing she was learning about letters!

Cookie Decorating

As I mentioned earlier, my preschooler loves all things food-related when it comes to her play. I guessed she might like to make the prints into letter cookies, and she sure did. Once the playdough letters were on the tray, she used toothpicks to add a polka dot pattern to each ‘cookie.’ She said that the polka dots were the sprinkles.

The last thing to do was to ‘bake’ the cookies, so we took them to her play kitchen, where she popped them in the oven. Oh, and how could I nearly forget the most important stage… pretending to eat the cookies, of course. She made us some pretend tea, and we sat eating the sweet letter treats together. This was another opportunity to name the letter and make the sound.

We can’t wait to explore using the Letter Blocks for more fun hands-on literacy activities using sensory bases.

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