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Friday, June 23, 2023

Free Printable Feelings & Emotions Playdough Mats

Learning about emotions and emotional regulation is a really important part of childhood development which helps children to understand their feelings and respond with appropriate behaviour in certain situations. This is a lifelong skill that they'll use all throughout adulthood too.

Introducing abstract or complex concepts to children is best done in an age appropriate way so they can make sense of the information, which is why it's so beneficial to introduce emotions through play activities. You can download and use our free emotions playdough mats to introduce children to different emotions - how they manifest through facial expressions and actions, and discuss ways they can manage them.

free printable emotions and feelings playdough mats by Finding Myself Young

Playing with playdough itself is a great form of emotional regulation for children because of the sensory input and the fact that they're in control of what they're creating. 

Manipulating playdough is a tactile and proprioceptive activity which involves resistance and deep pressure as children push, pull, squish, roll or break the playdough. These are all calming movements which help children cope with big feelings.


  • Download the free template {below}
  • Print and laminate for durability
  • Use with playdough, loose parts or washable markers

The free set of feelings and emotions playdough mats includes 2 different pages in a PDF document in A4 size, which can be downloaded and printed as is to fit to a page in Australia. If you're printing using US letter size you may need to check the fit to page box. As soon as I printed out our emotions playdough mats I laminated them so they can be used over and over without getting damaged.

If you don't have a laminator you can usually get things laminated at stationary stores for only a few dollars. Alternatively if you want to laminate lots of documents, you can pick up home laminators at Amazon, stationary stores or department stores. Or you can use the paper sheets inside of dry erase pockets.

free emotion faces playdough mats

You can use your playdough mats with homemade playdough, store bought playdoh jars, loose parts, washable markers, or a combination of each of these. My 6yr old loves using our emotions mats with both playdough and different coloured washable markers. They would also work well with loose parts such as buttons or googly eyes, pipe cleaners or ribbon {for hair} and coloured pasta.

*Always supervise children when using loose parts as they can pose a choking risk, especially to children who are still mouthing.

free printable emoji flashcards

The playdough mats also include a page of emoji flashcards representing common emotions - happy, excited, tired, sad, angry and scared. You can use these in many ways including printing as a poster for a calm down corner or classroom display, cut and laminate them to use as flashcards or a flip book. They can be used with the playdough mats for children to replicate the emotions, or they can be used as a tool for children to explain how they're feeling.


sample of free printable emotions playdough mats

Please note these printable play mats are for personal or classroom use only, they cannot be reproduced, published or sold in any form on any platform. If you would like to share these playdough mats please link back to this post directly.

download template now

The playdough mat represents a blank face so children have a completely blank canvas to work on where they can add as much or as little detail as they like. They can decorate the playdough mat to represent themselves by adding hair and facial features similar to their own if they choose. 

The top of the mat says Today I feel... which is a prompt for them to create an emotion based on their own feelings. Older children who can already write can also write their emotion at the top for extra handwriting practice.

emotions playdough mats used with playdough and washable markers

free printable feelings and emotions playdough mats for kids


If your kids love these emotions playdough mats and you want more options, or a larger set for a classroom, check out my emotions playdough mega bundle which includes 24 different playdough mats for just $5 {AU} in my Etsy store. This mega bundle includes 22 different inclusive blank face templates and 12 emoji flashcards.

emotions playdough mat mega bundle

The emotions mega bundle includes:

19 x blank face templates with various hairstyles in different hair colours and skin tones. All your children and students should be able to find a play mat that represents them.

emotions playdough mats used with washable marker

3 x blank face templates with no hair in 3 different skin tones.
These mats can be used for children who want to create their own hairstyles, children undergoing cancer treatment, or children with alopecia.

12 x emoji flashcards. These flashcards can be used as wall posters, flashcards, part of a calm down corner/basket, to play memory or snap {print 2x each page}, emotion charades and many other games. They can also be used as a guide if you want children to replicate certain emotions on the play mats.

order emotions mega bundle now

Disclosure - This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience, which means I may make a small commission at no cost to you, should you make a purchase.

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