The Best Play Dough Trays I Found On Instagram

Play dough trays are basically a serving tray (usually one with compartments) used as a play tray for kids (you can buy these type of serving dishes at the dollar store / pound shop)

But you actually don’t even need a tray to set one up!

All you need is play dough, either homemade or bought is fine, and a few cheap items that you can find either outside or in places such as the dollar store. When looking for items in the store you’ll want to look at the craft section or home decor aisle. You aren’t going to find glass beads etc in the toy aisle. Please make sure the child is over 3 and supervised if they’re likely to put things in their mouth.

Here are some of my favourite play doh ideas I found on Instagram. I tagged the accounts where I found them so please check them out.

Ocean / Beach Themed

These play dough trays are extremely popular and you can see why with these stunning examples. Use items such as glass beads, shells, sea life figures and rocks. Let your child explore the many textures while setting up their own play dough ocean.

@mothering_on_a_budget
@wecraftandplay
@teachtalkinspire
@atthecherrytree
@bubblesandbellylaughs
@exploring_with_two
@creative.kids.play

Bug Hunt Theme

Is your little one obsessed with bugs? These bug themed play dough trays will be sure to keep him / her occupied. Add bug figures, magnifying glass, leaves, grass and stones.

@bubblesandbellylaughs

Character Theme Play Dough

Engage your little one by setting up a play dough tray themed around their favourite character. You could even replace the play doh with kinetic sand. I love the examples I found below.

@mothering_on_a_budget
@myteachermummyandme
@mama.smith.to2
@waystoplaytoday
@momentswithnathan
@islasteachermummy
@makingwithmommy

Farm / Garden Theme

Get your child to create their own mini farm or garden. Include things like figures, flowers, a mini fence (you could make your own out of popsicle sticks) grass, straw and seeds

@educ_re_ation
@littledoll23
@bubblesandbellylaughs
@knead.to.play
@littleducklingschildminding

Fairy / Unicorn Theme

Unicorn and fairies are as popular as ever so a play dough tray based around this theme is sure to be a hit! Include items such as figures, gems, flowers and glass beads and let their imagination run wild.

@mama.smith.to2
@building_play
@learning.for.littles
@myteachermummyandme

Food Theme

The possibilities are endless with this theme but here are some fun examples I found on Instagram. Ice-cream, birthday cupcakes, fruit and pizza.

@adensactivities
@cruzy_play_ideas
@waystoplaytoday
@wecraftandplay
@makingwithmommy

Nature Theme

One of my favourite themes is this one as it costs the least! Most items can be picked up when you’re out and about. A better idea would be to get your kids to go on a scavenger hunt to see what items they can collect, two activities in one!

@littlehappylearners
@atthecherrytree
@pumped4preschool
@atthecherrytree
@atthecherrytree
@littledoll23

Space Theme

Do you have a budding astronaut? How about setting up a space theme play dough tray. Include things like figures, stars, sequins, glass beads, pipe cleaners, and cookie cutters.

@playfullyprimary
@myteachermummyandme

Season Theme

I love the idea of using the seasons as inspiration for a play dough tray. It’s a great way for children to learn about the weather also.

@rainbowsandfireflies

Spooky Theme

A great idea for Halloween or anytime of the year if you having a monster loving little one! Include anything spooky like Halloween cookie cutters, googly eyes, plastic spiders and string to make a web.

@sarafiltd
@playthroughstorms

Book Theme

Using your childs favourite book can really engage them in play and bring the story to life.

@home_ed_with_charlie_and_fred
@oursensorykids
@mama.smith.to2

Celebration

Whatever it is you’re celebrating use that as a fun idea for your play tray. I love the Easter, Valentine’s, 4th Of July and Christmas examples I found on Instagram.

@investigating_our_world
@learning.for.littles
@constructiveplaythingsco
@mama.smith.to2
@littles_for_littles

I hope you’ve got some great ideas and inspo to create an amazing play dough tray!

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