Play Dough Mitosis– so fun.

In our Apologia Biology class we went over Mitosis, which is a process of asexual reproduction in eukaryotic cells. 

To help with understanding this, I found several videos at YouTube.  You can find the links in the Apologia Biology tab at the top of the page.  Even with the videos it was had to understand the process of Mitosis and Meiosis. 

I searched for a solution and found this movie, Mitosis,  on YouTube.   After coveting seeing the magnetic manipulatives, I searched the world internet over and found nothing. All that I got out of that was drool on my keyboard.  It’s an ugly thing, coveting.

Ok, back to the purpose of this post.  I had to come to the realization I didn’t have those highly coveted manipulatives. I came up with something almost as good, play dough.  You know, that colored stuff you used to play with when you were a kid.  If you’re like me, you still play with it. 


So… for Mitosis you will need two colors of play dough and make a set of chromosome rods. One large, one medium, and one small, in each color.

Now take one from each size. Doesn’t matter what color or order. This is the Interphase. The stage between the process of Mitosis.


In the Early Prophase the DNA duplicate. Match the rods to the same size and color.


In the Metaphase the chromosomes line up on the equatorial plane.


In Anaphase the pairs start to split.


In Telophase the plasma membrane constricts.

Then two daughter cells are formed. These two daughter cells are identical.


You begin with one Mother cell and it divides into two identical daughter cells.   There are many other things going on in the cell during this time, but for simplifying the division, I only used just the play dough chromosome rods.

This helped the students during our study today.  I hope it will help some of you. 🙂  Monday, I will show how we did Meiosis.

Now if only I can find some of those magnetic rods.  So cool.  I could play with them all day.


5 responses to “Play Dough Mitosis– so fun.

  1. That’s a good solution to the elusive beads.

  2. I just want to thank you so much for your posts especially for bio…I am facilitating the same lab class and we are running about 2 weeks behind your schedule so i have appreciated SO much your research and extra ideas to help the kids grasp the concepts.

    you are a bless to me and the class!

  3. Oh no…Didn’t get fancy rods….forgot to get playdough…today we will do Math-U-See meets Apologia Biology! We have a full set of manipulatives in a box, and I thought I was done with those! (But I think playdough is much more fun!)

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