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This game brings all the creative fun of printmaking to the sensory goodness of dough play and then adds a clever twist! You make the prints, and your friend guesses what you used to make them. But watch out…it’s simple to make a mark, but easy to be fooled when you are the guesser. When you’re done with the game, keep playing with The Dough Project’s super, all natural, dough.

Be a Dough-tective

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Image of the LMNOPlay! logo and The Dough Project logo - partners in the creation of this play-dough activity for kids.

Be a Dough-tective

Image of various kitchen items for use in this play-dough activity for kids


  • Playdough: We recommend The Dough Project’s DIY Kit!
  • 5 or more loose parts to make imprints. Some ideas include:
    – Hard fruits & vegetables 
    – Forks/spoons 
    – A colander, cheese grater or potato masher
    – Natural parts (e.g. acorns, sticks, shells, pebbles, & leaves)
    – Screws, nuts & bolts
    – Empty spools
    – Corks
    – Rubber bands, paper clips & erasers
    – Buttons
    – Keys

For maximum silliness don’t forget to include body parts such as noses, elbows, fingers, chins, etc. 🙂

Image of The Dough Factory's play-dough kit, a whisk, and a wiggly piece of play-dough for use in this play-dough activity for kids.


  • Make your special playdough with The Dough Project’s DIY Kit.      
  • Roll out your dough on a flat surface.
  • Place your printmaking materials near your dough. 
  • Find someone to play with!
Image of a red blob of play-dough and a fork making imprints for use in this play-dough activity for kids.


  • Decide who will be Player 1 and who will be Player 2.
  • Player 1: Close your eyes!
  • Player 2: Choose a printmaking material and make a print in your dough.
  • Player 1: Open your eyes and try to guess which item was used to make the print!
  • Now, switch roles to continue playing this printmaking guessing game.

Play your way! What else can you do with these open-ended materials and dough?

Why Play This Way?

Like the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of play-based invitations, this game brings together two familiar, favorite, ingredients in an open-ended play experience that is sure to leave its mark. Children will experiment again and again with their dough and collected items, while marveling at their unique prints. By exploring through their sense of touch they will learn to view objects through a textural lens and use descriptive language to describe their prints. Plus, busy fingers will get a great fine motor workout! Most importantly, from start to finish, everyone will enjoy a wonderful, down to earth, playtime experience.

Better with a Book

At LᐧMᐧNᐧOᐧPlay!, we love to pair our play with a great book.

This is just the tip of the iceberg! If you liked this activity, you’ll LOVE our Book Club.
Discover special books and bring them to life with activities that make meaningful connections between reading and playing. 

join the book club!

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