3 Essential Play Dough Tools (that you may already have)

Three essential play dough tools (that you may already have) | Tinkerlab

What are your favorite play dough tools? We have a bunch including cookie cutters, store-bought play dough presses, rolling pins, and popsicle sticks. Today I’m sharing three of our favorite play dough tools that you may already have lying around the house. And in case you don’t, I’ll share some Amazon affiliate links to these products.

We adore play dough and all its benefits. For one, children tend to lose themselves in its squishy, lumpy plasticity and come up with all sorts of inventive uses for it. Beyond the general fun of play dough, it also does wonders for flexing a child’s imagination and developing fine motor skills in little hands. This play dough post from The Imagination Tree is a great read if you need any convincing that play dough is worth having around.

Step #1: Get some play dough!

If you don’t already have a batch of play dough, you need to try THE BEST PLAYDOUGH RECIPE

Yes, you have to make it yourself, but the time invested is worth it, and for a fraction of the cost of store-bought dough you’ll have an enormous amount of the best play dough ever. This recipe used by every pre-school teacher I know, and can last for months if stored properly.

Once you have some dough, you’re ready to have some play dough fun.

Play Dough Tool #1: Cookie Cutters

Three essential play dough tools (that you may already have) | Tinkerlab

My kids love to see cookie cutter shapes take form in play dough. For successful creative invitation, set up a few “cookies’ of flattened dough and a couple cookie cutters. We also like to have a cookie sheet nearby to encourage make-believe cookie-making.

Need cookie cutters? Animal cookie cutters are so fun for this.

Play Dough Tool #2: Crinkle Cutter 

Three essential play dough tools (that you may already have) | Tinkerlab

A reader recommended the crinkle cutter to as a good alternative to our favorite toddler-friendly knives. If you don’t already have one, we bought this one over two years ago and it’s still going strong. Crinkle Cutters come in handy for both play dough cutting and child-safe kitchen prep. My kids enjoy the zig-zag edge and gaining some control over this funky tool.

Recommended Kids knife set (with crinkle cutter)

Play Dough Tool #3: Scissors

Three essential play dough tools (that you may already have) | Tinkerlab

This may very well be my favorite play dough tool. To help small children learn how to handle a pair of scissors, invite them to cut play dough rolls, or “snakes.” Play dough is such a forgiving and easy material to cut through, and before you know it your child will be a master with scissors. Our favorite brands are Crayola and Fiskars, and I’d recommend blunt tips for little people. If you’re buying scissors for a class or large group of children, this pack of Fiskars is a great deal.

Ooops…Play Dough Misstep

Play Dough mistakes! Don't use play dough on paper.

Last but not least, please take a note from my play dough failure book and do not put play dough directly on paper. I’m not sure if I was just short on sleep or truly out to lunch, but for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to set up this creative invitation of purple play dough on a white paper background, as opposed to camouflaged against the flower-patterned oil cloth. That may be true, but play dough also sticks quite securely to anything porous.

Note taken? Super!

More Play Dough Tools and Ideas

Recipe for Glowing Play Dough: This is one of our most popular posts

Melissa and Dough Model and Mold Play Dough Tools: The rolling pins from this set get used all the time

Play Doh Fun Factory: We really like the play dough press that comes with this

Pumpkin pie play dough recipe: The smell of this dough is divine

Masa play dough: A rougher texture than traditional play dough, but great if you have some masa lying around

What are your favorite play dough tools?


  1. Ooh, we don’t have a crinkle cutter, but it sure does look like fun! I agree that cookie cutters and scissors are great accessories – and almost anything can be added too, like beads, craft sticks, googly eyes. (Can you tell we love our play dough?! lol!)

  2. A garlic press or those tools that let you make spaghetti or long tubes of playdough are great. Also, (if you don’t mind the clean up), I’ve always found little containers – the small tubs bought playdough comes in or an ice cube tray – to fill with playdough are a hit.

  3. Love the crinkle cutter! I’m adding that to our wish list. We enjoy using pipe-cleaners with ours; they’re perfect for arms, legs, antennae, etc. Somehow the play-dough doesn’t stick to them so ours get used over & over again.

  4. We love all of these simple tools too 🙂 Another fave of ours are googly eyes and craft matchsticks 🙂

    Also, surface tip: I’ve successfully used a whiteboard to define our dough play space 😀

    Love your blog!

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