Add some fine motor practice to your holiday lesson plans with these Christmas playdough mats. Be sure to add it to your list of Christmas activities for preschoolers and kindergarten kids.
These holiday play dough mats include fine motor skills, sensory play, and literacy – all wrapped up in one fun holiday activity. So much fun and learning in this free printable!
Not a huge fan of play dough? Don’t worry! The Christmas playdough mats are super versatile! You don’t have to use them with only play dough. There are lots of other ways to use them. I’ll tell you about a few other activities for them with below.
Related: Free Preschool Printables
Be sure to grab your free copy of the Christmas mats at the bottom of this post.
Christmas Playdough Mats
Festive themes and activities always seem to get the kids extra excited about learning. And the anticipation and excitement around Christmas, in particular, is unmatched. Creating lessons and planning activities related to Christmas is a great way to ensure that each student is engaged, learning, and having fun!
Planning for Christmastime in preschool can be pretty overwhelming, with all of the holiday programs, classroom parties, and Christmas-themed lesson plans and activities. But seeing the kids’ excitement and enthusiasm makes it all worthwhile!
These playdough mats are a simple activity, but they sure do pack a punch. And they’re Christmas-themed, so the kids will love them even more!
How to Prep the Christmas Mats
Getting the holiday mats ready to use is simple. And you don’t need to have a ton of materials to make it happen. There are only a few key items you’ll need to prepare and then use the Christmas mats. This is what you’ll need (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
And that’s it! But, like I said, this free printable is versatile. If you’re planning on using the play dough mats differently, you might need some other materials as well. Here are some ideas based on our activity ideas:
- Dry erase pockets
- Dry erase markers
- Holiday cookie cutters
- Christmas-themed erasers
- Mini holiday figures
- Jingle bells
- Model Magic
Of course, your materials list will depend on how you use the mats with your students. You can even take a look in your supply closet for some other items to use and for a bit of inspiration!
Related: Holiday Ideas for Kids
Once you have your supplies, it’s time to prep the Christmas playdough mats. First, get the free printable at the bottom of this post. Then download it to your computer. Open it in the most up-to-date version of Adobe Reader. Print the mats you’d like to use, making multiple copies as desired. Then place each page in a dry erase pouch or laminate. Whatever works best for you!
I did mention that the playdough mats are very low-prep, right? That’s really all there is to it!
How to Use the Christmas Playdough Mats
Now on to the fun part – playing with the mats! The most common way to use the mats is with play dough.
I’d suggest leaving this part as open-ended as possible. Simply set the mats out with a variety of play dough and let the kids play! You’ll find that each student interacts with the materials in slightly different ways.
Some will smash the play dough into place over the images on the mats. Others will roll the dough into snakes to outline the pictures. A few might focus on making shapes and fitting them together over the pictures after they’re formed. And some might just use the holiday picture mats as a placeholder for their epic, one-of-a-kind creations! Each of these methods of play is just fine in my book.
Remember to read through the sentences at the top of each page as the kids are creating. I would suggest reading them aloud a few times, pointing to each word as you go. Then let the kids read the sentences back to you.
You can also set out some loose parts and craft materials for the Christmas playdough mats invitation to play. Pompoms, pipe cleaner pieces, buttons, and glass gems are just a few ideas. Better yet, pair a few Christmas-themed items with the playdough and mats. Holiday cookie cutters, Christmas-themed erasers, and mini holiday figures are some great items to consider.
While your students are creating their Christmas play dough creations, have a chat about their favorite things about the holidays. It is always so interesting to hear what the children have to say. I bet you’ll get some very fun answers along the way!
Additional Ideas for the Sensory Mats
Using playdough with the Christmas mats is tons of fun. But there are lots of other ways to put the free printable mats to use in the preschool classroom, too.
Here are a few more ideas to get you started:
- Ask the children if they’d rather trace over the shapes with dry erase markers. Some will be keen to do so, while others will want to stick with using play dough.
- Turn some small holiday pieces, like jingle bells or Christmas mini erasers, into math manipulatives. Have the children use them to trace over each of the images. Bonus points for counting how many items they used!
- Use the mats as writing prompts. Students can trace the words with dry-erase markers, copy the sentences onto their paper, or come up with a story based on the pictures. They can write the story themselves or dictate the story for you to write.
- Challenge the children to use the play dough to make three-dimensional versions of the pictures. You can even use Model Magic or air-dry clay for this. They would make super-cute preschool Christmas ornaments, and even better gifts to send home to families!
What’s Included with the Free Printable Playdough Mats
The Christmas mats are full of so many enrichment opportunities. They are a great way for kids to practice fine motor skills. And, paired with play dough, they’re an excellent tool for sensory play. And remember that they can be used to explore early literacy concepts as well.
Here’s a list of each page found in the Christmas playdough mats:
- Gingerbread man
- Decorated tree
How will you use the Christmas play dough mats in the classroom? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
Don’t forget to scroll down and get your copy of the free printable Christmas mats below!
More Christmas Printables for Kids
Don’t let the holiday fun end there. There are lots of free Christmas printables available. Check out some of my favorites below:
- Christmas 5 Senses Book
- Do-A-Dot Printable Christmas Worksheets
- Christmas Lights Printable Book
- Grinch Printable Activities
- Christmas Stockings Beginning Sounds
- Letter to Santa Template
- Candy Cane Calendar Numbers
- Reindeer Paper Bag Craft (with printable template)
- Christmas Cookie Shape Mats
Preschool printables can make great additions to your Christmas toolbelt. My favorites serve as an extra resource for hands-on preschool activities like these Christmas playdough mats!
Christmas Lesson Plans
It can be extremely overwhelming to create meaningful lesson plans during the holiday season. There are classroom parties to plan, Christmas programs to practice for, and lots of pressure to create Pinterest-worthy crafts and lessons all season long. That’s where Preschool Teacher 101 can help by streamlining your planning process and saving you a lot of time!
We have tons of Christmas-themed resources, each full of meaningful lessons, educational games and activities, and even a few Pinterest-worthy crafts! Click on the image below to learn more about our Christmas lesson plans.
This is a week-long comprehensive lesson plan product that will allow you and your students to explore the symbols and traditions of Christmas while incorporating reading, math, science, and more!
But maybe you want to celebrate Christmas all December long this year. Here are some of our other early childhood resources that will help you do just that. Click on the images for more information about each product.
Be sure to check out Preschool Teacher 101’s membership plan for regular access to tons of preschool and kindergarten resources, products, and lesson plans!
Get the Free Christmas Playdough Mats
This free printable is available to members of Fun-A-Day’s free email community. If you’re a member, fill out the form below and the download links will be sent to your inbox. If you’re not a member, you can join us by entering your information in the form. Then you’ll receive the printable as a welcome gift!
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