Play dough is one of those creative staples in our home. I think it is such a hit because it easy to combine different materials and basic supplies with it to inspire creativity.

10 fun and unique ways to create with play dough - Creative Play Central

Some of our favourite ways to create with play dough include:

1. Adding craft supplies such as  coloured feathers, honeycomb mesh, ribbon, lace, pom poms, coloured craft sticks.

Picture 118 Extras to go with play dough

Some craft supplies combined with play dough inspired a treasure island (the treasure is buried deep in the feather forest surrounded by the golden gates (aka as honeycomb mesh).

Picture 052  play dough island

This time we had some bubble wrap, buttons, pipe cleaners, and cardboard tubes on hand. A play dough billabong scene was created.

Picture 090 Play dough billabong

A mailing tube was added and used as a tree  with some play dough birds nesting in the “tree” beside the billabong.

Picture 061 play dough billabong

2. Add a mystery box to the play dough table . We have a container  filled with little knick knack pieces and parts of toys (see photo below featuring some examples) that we incorporate into small world play and play dough creations. I choose a handful of pieces from this container and place them in a box that has been dubbed the mystery box. My children love to open the mystery box, discover what’s inside and use the contents of the mystery box to inspire new and unique play dough creations.

Contents of a mystery box:

Picture 159 contents of mystery play dough box

3. Sometimes artists inspire play dough creations.

After seeing the Pip and Pop exhibition my daughter was excited to create her own Pip and Pop inspired play dough creation.

Picture 280 playdough creation

4. Favourite books may also be a fun source of inspiration for some creativity at the play tough table. The Potato People by Pamela Allen was one of the first books that inspired a play dough creation for my oldest daughter.

Picture 488, Potato Person

Picture 487, Potato person

5. Adding some recycled materials to the play dough table often gets the creative juices flowing.

A cardboard box covered in white paper makes an ideal canvas to create a play dough birthday cake, or it could be used to decorate a play dough house (maybe something along the lines of Hansel and Gretel, or a house from another land or time)

Picture 036  play dough cake

A box might inspire a play dough creature

Picture 089 Using recycled materials with play dough creations

On Pinterest I have seen lots of different ideas for using cardboard tubes to make cars. Covering a cardboard tube with play dough and adding embellishments makes for some pretty cool cars.

Picture 325 Play dough car creation

6. Calendars are one of our  favourite resources to recycle and pictures from calendars are a wonderful addition to the play dough area. (I wrote about six ways to incorporate calendars into creative play here and another six ways here)

A picture from an old calendar could inspire and  be used  as a backdrop for a play dough creation.

Picture 394 fairy scene play dough

Picture 118 play dough creation inspired by calendar backdrop

7. Birthday cake cookbooks have inspired some of my children’s play dough creations.

Creations such as the play dough dolly vardens pictured below. You can read about these creations (as well as some other play dough  creations inspired by birthday cake cookbooks) in this blog post.

Picture 261 both fancy doll play dough cakes

8. Play dough dress ups – simple, fun and sure to kick start the creative juices. All the information about our play dough dress up creations can be found in this blog post.

Picture 080 play dough dress ups - family

9. Create a play dough mask. You can either purchase a blank mask from a craft store, or create your own. Instead of colouring or painting the mask, use play dough to decorate it. You could also add embellishments such as feathers, beads, gems etc.

Picture 199 Playdough masks

10. Themed play dough creations.

Decorate a toy dollhouse with themed play dough decorations. See this blog post for more details about our festive play dough Christmas decorations for a doll house .

Picture 067 play dough  Christmas decorations

Create a play dough Christmas wonderland. More information about this can be found in this blog post.

Picture 028 Play Dough Christmas Wonderland

How about a halloween inspired play dough scene.

Picture 132 play dough haunted house

Whatever the season, or time of year, take inspiration from it to create something new and unique with play dough.

That’s a wrap – 10 ways to mix it up when it comes to creating with play dough.