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Favorite Speech & Language Activities to Engage in With Playdough

By: Elizabeth F. Williams, M.S. CCC-SLP

One of my favorite childhood memories is when my mother, the former owner and director of “Miss Patty’s Preschool,” would make homemade playdough for her preschool students. She would always save some for me to play with, as well as my younger brother. Fast forward to my adulthood as a speech language pathologist and mother, I have also enjoyed making homemade playdough for my speech students and daughters.

Please see below for speech and language activities to engage in while playing with playdough and a homemade playdough recipe with my mother’s “secret ingredient.”

My favorite speech and language activities while playing with playdough are:

· modeling and using verbs such as, rolling, cutting, squeezing, patting, pushing, smashing, opening, closing, and taking out;

· modeling and using descriptive words in categories, such as, size, shape, quantity, and color;

· modeling and using prepositions of place, such as, inside, outside, in front of, under, and between;

· illustrating bumpy versus smooth speech for children who are working on improving their fluency or decreasing stuttering.

Homemade Playdough Recipe:


· 2 cups flour

· ½ cup salt

· 4 teaspoons cream of tartar

· 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

· 2 cups of water

· food coloring


1. Mix dry ingredients in a saucepan

2. Add oil and water and food coloring

3. Stir

4. Cook on medium heat until it sticks together and pulls away from the side of the saucepan

5. Cool a little

6. Take out of pan and knead

7. Cool completely and store in an airtight container

My mother’s “secret ingredient” was always a drop or two of “wintergreen oil.” Fast forward again to today and your favorite essential oil scent could be used. I stick with “wintergreen!”

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