Fun First Day of School Activity ~ Magic Playdough!


This is a great activity to do on the first day of school! It takes a little prep at home, but it’s worth it!

I just finished making this, because tomorrow is the first day of school for me!


~2 cups all-purpose flour (*maybe a bit more)

~2 tablespoons vegetable oil

~1/2 cup salt

~2 tablespoons cream of tartar

~1 ½ cups boiling water

~food coloring (different colors)

~zippered sandwich plastic bags


~Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl

~Add the water a little at a time to the dry ingredients in the bowl, while stirring.

~Continue to still it until it becomes a sticky, combined dough

~Let it to cool, then take it out of the bowl and knead it with your hands vigorously for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness has gone. *If it is still sticky, continue to add a bit of flour until it is not sticky anymore. I made this using the amounts listed, and the consistency was perfect.


Put the small balls in individual ziplock bags. Copy the FREEBIE poem to attach to each bag. Depending on how many kids are in your class, you may need to make two batches (I have 23 kids, and this was just enough). I made this the night before the first day of school. On the morning of the first day of school, take each dough ball out of its bag, and using the tip of a large nail, make a hole in the middle of the dough. Drop in two drops of food coloring. Then move some dough over the hole to seal it. Return it to the baggie.


Click here for the poem to copy, cut, sign, and attach to the play dough bags     Magic Playdough poem

On the first day of school, pass out the baggies to each student, and allow them to read the poem, but tell them to not touch the dough in the bag yet (You’ll quickly learn which kids can follow directions on the first day of school, right?) Do another quick activity as the anticipation rises. Then let the kids open the baggies and “make magic.” The kids OOO and AHHH, and look around the room to see all the different colors. It’s so fun to watch them.

After the activity, have the kids put the dough back in the bag, to take home. I did this last year, and parents have told me that THIS is the first thing their child told them about, when sharing what happened on the first day of school!


One thought on “Fun First Day of School Activity ~ Magic Playdough!

  1. Creative, as usual!!! Have a happy first day!

    Sherrill S. Cannon, Award- Winning Author “Mice & Spiders & Webs…Oh My!”, “My Fingerpaint Masterpiece”, “Manner-Man”, “Gimme-Jimmy”, “The Magic Word”, “Peter and the Whimper-Whineys”, and “Santa’s Birthday Gift”

    Sent from my iPhone



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