Grab your play dough, pasta and your smiles because it’s time to create a Family portraits activity that’s simple enough toddlers can do it!
When Charlie was around 3 we did play dough porcupines with pasta.
This was a super fun activity we did with The Activity Room®️From Hands on as We Grow!
I set out to do that with Maisie now that she is 2!
This went over very well with her!
She loved poking pasta in and pulling it back out of the play dough too!
Play dough and pasta is always great for fine motor skills practice.
Thing is that Charlie wasn’t into doing it this time.
Maybe because he’s done it before. Or maybe he just wasn’t in the mood.
Whatever the cause, I wanted to come up with an activity using the play dough and pasta that would entice him to join us in the fun.
Charlie is 4 years old now and has been very into drawing faces and family members.
Especially drawing parents and kids.
He has also been learning a lot about family relationships and how we are related.
He is finally old enough to understand who mommy and daddy’s parents are and how aunts and uncles are mommy and daddy’s sisters and brothers.
An exciting time of learning for him! Especially since, as we say, “Families are friends forever!”
Simple Family Faces Activity with Toddlers and Preschoolers
So I came up with this fun family portraits activity with play dough and pasta that is simple enough my toddler got right in there too!
But most importantly my prekinder and toddler both found this art project equally as interesting.
To Make Your Own Play Dough and Pasta Family Portraits Toddlers Activity You’ll Need:
- Play dough
- Pasta in all shapes and sizes
- Containers or sectional platter to hold pasta
- Plastic tablecloth or cookie sheets or workspace that’s play dough save
Setting Up Your Play Dough & Pasta Portrait Activity
Step one is simple, gather up your supplies!
Next get a good surface area for your family activity that will eliminate toddler mess stress!
For me I find a plastic top tablecloth or shower curtain over the table surface makes for easy clean up, no stress about pulling varnish off or damaging furniture.
And best of all allows me to get engaged with the activity at hand instead of stressing over the mess.
Last step in the set up process is to flatten out some play dough pancakes to be the face moulds we will get creative with!
How to Make Play Dough Faces Family Portrait Activity with Toddlers and Preschoolers
Personally I started out the activity by saying I was gonna make Daddy!
Charlie and Maisie were both immediately into that idea.
I asked them questions about what we should use for eyes or hair etc.
I got the kids to hand me the pasta they thought would be right for each facial feature.
Of course my toddler liked breaking the long pasta for hair!
And my preschooler thought Daddy needed a bow tie!
Next we started a mommy for the family portraits.
Now to get the kids super involved I suggested they each make a self portrait!
Charlie discovered that he could use the pasta to make shape prints in the play dough faces as well.
We had a great time with him touching his ears and hair and eyes. He was telling me about their size and shape.
Then he would try to create the same shape or size in his play dough face.
He was just playing but actually thinking and learning about himself and others while doing it.
My toddler asked for help often with her contribution to the family portraits activity.
But she was impressively good at actually putting facial features in the right places!
We would talk about what she has on her face and then she would pick out some pasta to put on her play dough portraits.
She also insisted on hair and a bow!
Next I invited them to finish the mommy face for me!
I loved watching them work together on this activity and create a fun little play dough family!
Maisie was convinced mommy needed a ton more hair.
Charlie thought that was hilarious!
They both decided mommy’s face was missing freckles. Made sense to me.
The best thing about this toddlers friendly family portraits activity is that you can be as detailed or silly as you want.
Just smile and enjoy the moments together.
I know we did!
These kiddos were so proud of their family faces portraits!
We had so much fun doing this activity together and it was a great opportunity to talk about the family and how we all look different but also the same.
Suddenly my toddler realized that this family portrait activity wasn’t complete!
We were missing the dog.
So we made our puppy to add to the collection.
The kids were both really happy with the creative results of their family portraits activity.
And I’m just so happy we found something that interested both of them!
Plus finding an activity that teaches about family for prekinders and toddlers to be able to do is always awesome!
If you want more ideas on portraits for young kids, particularly self portraits for preschoolers to make, check out 20 Back to School Art Projects for Kids
What is your favorite family theme activity ideas for young kids to create?
Share your ideas with us in the comments below!