When I plan activities for my daughter, I like to choose materials that can be used in multiple ways–especially when a theme is involved. Otherwise, it can get really expensive! A basic metal cookie cutter is a perfect, inexpensive material with so many uses.

We have this set of aquarium cookie cutters that includes the shark cookie cutter we used in these activities.

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Here are three ways we’ve used a shark cookie cutter with our shark themed activities:

1. Bake shark sugar cookies

So, this one is sort of obvious. If you’re going to do activities with a cookie cutter, one should be to bake cookies!

What you’ll need:

  • Cookie cutter
  • Sugar cookie dough (make your own favorite recipe or purchase in the refrigerator section of the grocery store)
  • Frosting (make your own or purchase prepared)

Tip for doing the activity with your child:

Demonstrate the step, then allow your child to complete the step–whatever the step may be: mixing, cutting, icing. We started baking cookies with our daughter around her first birthday. Let them try. Let them get messy. Encourage them to do as much a they’re able.

These photos were taken when Stitch was around 18 months old. I love the effort and pride they capture.

She wasn’t overly interested in icing the cookies, but she enjoyed watching me do it.

Yum! These aren’t necessarily “Pinterest-worthy”, but it’s more about the process than the end result.

2. Play with playdough

Playdough is excellent for sensory and fine motor development. We almost always have a playdough activity available for our daughter.

What you’ll need:

  • Cookie cutter
  • Playdough (homemade or prepared. Stitch received this set for her birthday, and I love having all these colors on hand!)
  • A few other playdough tools.

Tip for doing the activity with your child:

Demonstrate each tool, then just let her explore. This is all about the process.

When I took this photo, she told me she was making waves for the shark.

She cut this shark after having used another tool to create texture on the playdough.

3. Trace for an art project

Tracing is excellent for fine motor development. We do a lot of arts and crafts in our home. I love how open-ended tracing projects are.

What you’ll need:

  • Cookie cutter
  • Paper
  • Crayons, colored pencils, or markers

Tip for doing the activity with your child:

Demonstrate how to trace the cookie cutter. If your child isn’t developmentally ready to trace, show them how they can color inside the cookie cutter instead. After tracing, let them complete their artwork with more drawing, stickers, or other things they might enjoy.

*Notice how she is using her left hand in one picture and right in the next? It’s completely normal for children this age to still be experimenting with both hands. Their dominant hand will become more evident as they get older.

Click to see more of our S is for Shark Shark Activities

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