Talking about Diversity with Children Using Playdough

Katie Myers


With Martin Luther King Jr. Day coming right up, it can be tricky to explain the meaning behind MLK Day to your little ones. Talking about diversity can be a good way to approach the topic for younger kids.  What better way to talk about diversity than with play dough! It is something all kids can identify with, and it provides a great way for them to learn though play.

Playdough Recipe

Talking about Diversity with Children Using Playdough by Katie Myers of Bonbon Break

  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar (you can find this cheapest in the bulk spices)
  • 3 Tablespoons of Oil
  • 3 Cups water

1) Start by mixing your flour, salt, cream of tartar, oil, and water in a medium saucepan.

2) Whisk your ingredients together until your mixture is smooth and clump free.

4) Cook your playdough in the saucepan over medium heat, mixing constantly with a wooden spoon or a spatula.

5) Mix until it takes on a dough-like consistency.

5) When it looks done remove from the pan on to your counter top and let cool until its easy to handle.

6) When it is cool enough to work with knead your playdough for an extra smooth consistency.

7) Let your playdough cool completely before children handle it and before you add in your colors.


What I did:

I decided to make to rainbow of colored playdough (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple) all colors that they would know. We started with plain white playdough and talked about what it looked like, how it felt, smelled, etc. (see above for the playdough recipe)

Tip: For extra sensory for younger kids you can add a scent to you playdough (ex. peppermint) and/or a texture (ex. cornmeal) to help grasp that it smells and feels the same.

Talking about Diversity with Children Using Playdough by Katie Myers of Bonbon Break

Then we divided it into 6 sections, to each section I added a color of the rainbow to it and we mixed it in and watched that playdough take on that color. We did this until all 6 sections were a different color.

Next we talked about the playdough again. We discussed that even though they were now different colors, were they any different? Nope, it was still playdough and it still looked, felt, and smelled the same.

We went even further now mixing our colored playdoughs together, getting even more colors. Did this change it? Nope! It was still the same playdough just a different color.

Then we talked about how people can be like playdough. How everyone is different but we are all still people and were all still made up the same even if our color is different from someone else.

Just like the playdough, our skin color can be different, but what we are made of is all the same.

Working with younger children, I have learned that some topics can be tricky to discuss or explain. With the help and visual of the playdough,  younger kids can really get and idea of the word “diversity” and we can all look different but, on the inside, we are all made up of the same ingredients.



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Talking about Diversity with Children Using Playdough by Katie Myers of Bonbon Break

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This post was written by Katie Myers exclusively for Bonbon Break Media, LLC

Katie spends her days with toddlers, as their preschool teacher. She loves to bake, cook, camp, and read, but she her greatest love is creating crafts and sharing them with kids. Katie and her newlywed husband are living happily ever after on a little island in the Pacific Northwest where she was born and raised. Keep your eyes open for her posts on Bonbon Break, where she will be a regular contributor.