toys and entertainment

The best dough and sand modelling sets

Our top picks of dough and sand modelling sets

Top 5 dough and sand modelling sets

Our favourite dough and sand modelling set around now

Why buy them?

Playing with any sort of modelling material, whether sand or dough is great for all multi-sensory early developmental play. It helps strengthen your child’s hands and fingers and improves their nimbleness, helping them get ready for more sophisticated tasks, such as drawing and writing.

What to spend

You can buy a tub of classic Play Doh for as little as a £1, and this will be probably all you need initially as your toddler gets used to playing and handling it. Larger kits can cost anything up to around £30 depending on the accessories and how many pots of dough are included. Sand modelling sets usually cost around the £10 mark.

What to look for

Play dough can be used by children as young as 18 months old, whereas sand kits are for slightly older children around three years old. Very young toddlers will be happy with a couple of pots of dough and some simple tools, whilst older children might need a wider range of colours plus accessories for more sophisticated game play.

Play Doh rainbow 250Rainbow Starter Pack, £9.40, Play-Doh

A starter pack of eight different colours of classic Play-Doh ideal for very young children. This dough has a very soft pliable consistency, so ideal for little hands and fingers to work with. Let them play with one colour at a time until children learn not to mix the colours together!

Plasticine 24 colour set 25024 colour set, £3, Plasticine

Plasticine modelling clay has been around for decades and is slightly firmer than many more modern doughs. Its big advantage is that it never dries out, so it's not as disastrous if it’s left unwrapped, and it can be rolled out and played with again and again.

Mothercare dough tool set 250Soft Stuff Bumper Dough and Tool Set, £26, Early Learning Centre

A bumper pack of dough and accessories that will keep toddlers entertained for hours. It comes with six pots of dough, a rolling pin, stampers and cookie cutters as well as knives and scissors for cutting and shaping the dough.

Play doh numbers and counting 250Numbers and counting, £11, Play Doh

This number-themed set is a great way to use Play-Doh as learning tool and includes stampers and number cards so you child can work on their counting and number skills as well as their motor skills. An ideal set for parent and child to play with together.

Kinetic sand beach day 250Beach day fun set, £10, Kinetic Sand

Who needs to visit the beach when you have this engrossing set? There’s not only sand, but rakes, shovels and moulds so your child can build the castle of their dreams. Best of all the sand sticks together, and not to your child, so it’s not as messy as you’d think ...

The best dough and sand modelling sets