Emotional Colors

Toddler during arts and crafts at day care

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to maintain focus and sustain attention and express, understand, and regulate emotions while developing fine motor skills.

Materials Needed:

  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Cream of tartar
  • Natural food coloring
  • Vegetable (or coconut) oil
  • Quart size storage bags
  • Markers

Participants: This activity is intended for adult/child interaction, and 2 or more participants/players or individual use.


  1. Gather ingredients.
  2. Make playdough using the recipe below. Use food coloring to create different colors of playdough.
  3. Put each color in separate bags and label it with emotion. When your child has strong feelings they can squeeze, stretch, and play with their “calm down clay” to help regulate their body.

How to make playdough (CLICK HERE)

  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour.
  2. 3/4 cup salt.
  3. 4 teaspoons cream of tartar.
  4. 42 cups lukewarm water.
  5. 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil (coconut oil works too)
  6. Food coloring
  7. Quart sized bags & markers
Bright Horizons
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Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
Toddler during arts and crafts at day care