Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Play Dough!

Create some wild and wonderful patterned, sparkly and textured play dough to create marvellous candies and sweets in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory imaginary play!

charlie and the chocolate factory play dough recipe
This was totally inspired by Cakie who asked me “can we please make some Willy Wonka play dough Mummy?!” She’s absolutely in love with the 1970s version of this movie (and I can’t wait to read her the book when she’s older!) and talks about it a lot at the moment.
no cook play dough
Both the girls helped me to make a double batch of our super-easy, no-cook play dough (it takes only 4 minutes!) Then we divided it up and added various colours using 2 tsps of bright powder paint for each. To two of the lumps of dough we added a few tablespoons of cocoa powder (and a few drops extra water) to make chocolate scented dough. (Alternatively you can see our real chocolate play dough recipe here.)
Charlie and the chocolate factory play dough inventions
To create some fun effects I simply added a few extra elements. You could be hugely creative with these! I added some acrylic crystals and strawberry flavouring to make “Strawberry Whiffle“, peppermint flavouring and glitter to create “Mint Fizzwangler“, gold glitter to the chocolate dough to make “Chocolate Glitter-Ripple“, brown marker pen drawn in straight lines to more chocolate dough to make “Toffee Scrumdidiliumptious“, blue and purple marker pen dots to create “Blueberry Snozztastic” and flower print stamps with vanilla essence to make “Golden Poppernickel!”
These were SO much fun to make and if I’d had more dough we would have made so many more weird and whacky combinations! I’m looking forward to next time :-)
additions to play with play dough
We raided our play dough tool kit supplies and found pom poms, cut straws, cut BBQ skewers (sharp ends cut off), Hama beads, acrylic crystal gems, lolly sticks and coloured chips. These were for adding embellishments and more whacky features to any sweetie creations they would make.

And here are some of our fun creations! I particularly love the Everlasting Gobstoppers (top right corner) inspired directly from the movie, as well as the “swizzwingers” (named by Cakie!) which apparently “go into your mouth and out again and then make your tummy feel all lovely inside.” I’d like to try those for sure!

Cakie was especially interested in making lollipops and we worked together to layer three colours on top of each other and roll them up into a sausage shape.

She then chopped them into discs and flattened them with her palm, sticking them onto the BBQ skewers to finish them off!

lollipop play dough
They decorated the lollies and Cakie got a little jug to display them in at her “chocolate factory” (our favourite toy market stall!)
They filled up the crates and cups with all their creations and I was ordered to act out her favourite parts of the story as Mr Willy Wonka. Cakie was Charlie and poor Pop got assigned the role of an Oompa Loompa (she does love to sing and dance along with them!)
And because it was another rainy day and we were all a bit poorly, we decided to switch on the actual DVD and play along while we watched it. Yes, we enjoy tv and have no problem allowing our kids to watch some favourites, even playing and creating while we do so sometimes. All things in moderation!
Here are some delicious golden chocolate bubble milkshakes which make you feel sweet and happy!
I just loved the imaginative ideas and rich, story-based vocabulary that was being used during this play time. Imaginative play based on real stories creates a context-rich, meaningful starting point for young children and can consolidate so many early literacy and creative skills during play.
Further play prompts:
  • what shall we make together? do you remember any of the candies/sweeties from the story?
  • what does this dough look like? smell like? remind you of?
  • what could this sweetie do? will it make us fly? giggle? hot? cold? is it fizzy? sour? sweet?
  • take on a character and act out parts of the story in role, altering voices and language as you play
  • shall we make a shop to sell these in? let’s make price tags, recipts, signs etc
  • Use a till and play money to count out and role play
Learning Links:
  • physical development: fine motor skills (pushing, squeezing, rolling, flattening with dough), muscle strengthening through kneading and mixing
  • phse: discussing how something smells and feels, how it makes you feel, making comparisons, identifying feelings and emotions, talking about being calm and relaxed, expressing frustrations etc
  • knowledge & understanding of the world: discussing and comparing textures and scents using appropriate descriptive language, combining materials
  • literacy: descriptive language e.g. bumpy, lumpy, spiky, rough, smooth, soft, shiny etc, use story-telling language and increase vocabulary with descriptive terms such as fizzy, sour, sweet etc Take on a character and remain in role during play
Cakie: 3.10
Pop: 2.3
Bean: 19 wks
If you liked this you will definitely like our Play dough Sweet Shop Imaginative Play!
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  1. says

    I loved that film as a child – we must get a copy for J and T as it’s much more child friendly than the remake and agree about can’t wait to read it to them when they are older.

    Just wanted to know what you use to make strawberry flavour – are you using food flavouring or something else – with the success of the lemon :) I want to do some more different flavours as well.

  2. says

    Wow this is totally totally gorgeous – I too loved that film as a child. What a fanatic way to develop imagination and creativity. I love Cakie’s description of her sweets and what they do- soooo cute. If The Fairy wasn’t at pre school today I think we’d be playing sweetie shops this afternoon!

  3. says

    I love this! Especially how you used markers and stamps with the play dough. I wouldn’t have thought of that and the lollipops are adorable.

  4. says

    This is my new favorite post of yours!! Absolutely fantastic. I just introduced my girls to Willy Wonka last week and they were spellbound…they would adore this. Thank you so much for another wonderful idea!!

  5. says

    I absolutely love these ideas and will be creating some with the boys in the holidays for sure! I have an empty chocolate tray at the ready…hmmm, maybe I should really empty some more choc trays in preparation 😉 Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Libby says

    I think these are lovely! I have a question for you, in the photos it appears that you let the playdough dry out in these shapes. I am wondering what you do with them when it is time to move on? This is always a struggle for me with imaginative play creations, I hate throwing them away but we have such a small house that we just can’t keep things around for long periods of time. I always feel guilty tossing and wonder how other moms deal with this challenge. Thanks!

  7. says

    oh my goodness! i wanna come over and play with you! at my school we add lotsa glitter and fun to the dough ut rarely do we have more than one color at a time. I love this, thank you for sharing!

    • Anonymous says

      In the non cook playdough I have used paints. They are bright and non toxic . I have created other bright colours by mixing 2 colours together. Someone else may know of another way of getting those bright colours …good luck .