Playdough counting challenge (2 - 3 year olds)

Using balls of playdough to develop our skills!

Home Learning

Playdough and early learning skills go very well together. In this activity, we want to use playdough to develop our numeracy skills. In the meantime, we can enjoy the feeling of the dough and exercise our fine-motor skills by making the balls with our fingers. Please note: this challenge should be done alongside more open-ended playdough exploration. Please let your child play freely with the playdough first.

You will need

  • Playdough (recipe here).
  • A selection of numbers that can be drawn out (e.g. a pack of cards)

What to do

  1. Remove the cards without numbers from the pack (i.e. remove King, Queen, Jack and Joker).
  2. Then, get your child to draw a card at random. Challenge them to roll the number of balls from playdough, according to the numbers on the card.
  3. Vary the size of the balls, or the speed with which you ask the child to roll.


Playdough is a wonderful material, with an endless list of possible uses. Let your child explore playdough freely, and see where it will take them.

Playdough counting challenge

Learning outcomes

During this activity, you will practice:

  • Finger manipulation skills.
  • Numeracy skills: counting from 1 to 10.
  • Reaction times (speeding up).