Building with Playdough | Simple STEM Challenge for Kids

I am pretty sure at this point that we are obsessed with all things STEM and engineering. You see we love to build and create new things and we love engineering challenges even more. This summer we made a few travel engineering kits for kids and fell in love. It was definitely time to make a new one, so this time we made this simple STEM challenge for kids and included building with playdough.

Travel Engineering Kit Building with Playdough Set

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If you are regular here, you know there are two things we love… engineering and playdough. About a month ago, we made this awesome no-cook playdough for a gift set (I still can’t wait to share that with you) and we still have the playdough left. We have been using it almost every day. It seemed like the perfect ingredient for our newest engineering kit.

What You Need for a Building with Playdough Engineering Kit

Case/ Bag/ Carrier
Miniture Case for Playdough
3-4 Balls of Playdough or Modeling Clay
Paper Straws, Large Milkshake Straws, Toothpicks (any of these)

What you Need for Stem Playdough Travel Kit

Making a Playdough Engineering Kit for Kids

Putting together the building with playdough engineering kit is really simple and doesn’t take a lot of your time, which is great if you need a kit on the go and on the run. Simply gather a few small cases  that can hold your straws and your playdough together in one place.

We used a rubber band to hold all of our straws together, but you can just throw them in or give them their own pencil cases, depending on how organized you like to get.

Engineering Kit for Kids with Playdough and Straws

Engineering Challenge: Building with Playdough

When I created this kit, I really thought my kids would go to town building tall structures like we have done so many times before, however Bones (age 8) was more interested in making polygons. He started by making a triangle, moving on to a square.

Making Polygons with Playdough and Straws
When he tried to make a circle, he turned to me and said “hmm… I don’t think I can, there aren’t any straight lines in a circle. I will just stick to shapes without curves.”

Using Playdough to build shapes and structures

Making shapes and connecting the straws is as easy as one, two, three. Just pinch a tad of the playdough between your fingers and roll it into a ball. Connect straws using the playdough balls.

Engineering for kids with Playdough

Challenge your kids to make all sorts of polygons and shapes. My son had a blast making his pentagon.

Making Shapes with Playdough and Straws

While I didn’t get a picture of it, this kit is perfect for all ages. My toddler loved playing with the dough and even used it to mix colors and learn a bit about how to make new colors (coming soon) .

Engineering Travel Kit for Kids with Building Challenge with Playdough


This post is a part of an amazing series of hands-on STEM activities for kids. I’ve joined up with 28 other bloggers and we’re creating 60+ fun science, technology, engineering & math activities. Each week is a different topic: STEM Goes Green, STEM Challenges, Coding for Kids & STEM On the Cheap.  Click here for the full list of activities.


For More Adventures in Engineering

Travel Kit for Little Engineers

Simplethe Best Engineering Projects for kids



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6 thoughts on “Building with Playdough | Simple STEM Challenge for Kids”

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