Play Dough can be a parents worst nightmare… stuck in the carpet, put in mouths, shoved into toys…. you get the picture. However, with some simple structure learning with play dough can actually be quite fun.
We have these rules for play dough:
– It is stored in a plastic container in the closet up high.
– We play with it at the dining room table.
– When we are finished, we clean up.
When you introduce play dough to your little ones, teach the rules and then follow through.
How do you use play dough to learn?
1) Use play dough cookie cutters.
We have these animal ones that came with a play dough set. It is always fun cutting out the different animals and talking about the animal name and what sound it makes.
2) Create Letters and Numbers
Work together to create different letters, practice spelling different words. Roll out little balls of play dough and then count how many you have. Make numbers with your play dough.
3) Use play dough with Mr. Potato Head
3) Use with Mr. Potato Head. I recently saw this idea at Happy Hooligans and thought it was the cutest idea. My sons love Mr. Potato Head and this is a great way, for toddlers especially, to create different looks using the Potato Head parts. (See more by clicking on the picture below)
4) Use with play dough mats
5) Animal Prints
5) Animal Prints. We love taking out our plastic animals (many from the dollar section at Target) and then rolling out a section of play dough. Then we walk our animals across the play dough and talk about their different tracks. The kids love this activity as they can see which animal has big or little tracks.
6) Make scented play dough
The options really are endless for Play Dough learning. It is a great tool that we often can overlook.
Do you use Play Dough for learning and exploration? If so, what are some activities you and your children have enjoyed?
If you are looking for more great ideas, I suggest these posts: Activities for Afternoon Quiet Time. or this one: Ideas to keep your kids busy for an hour or more!
As a mom of 3 little ones, I have slowly come to realize that everything has its season. The endless nights of a crying infant, potty training your toddler, tantrums, hugs and kisses… they are all small moments in time. Time that moves on ever so fast. As time flies by, we have to take hold of these moments- even the insane screaming ones– and remember it is just for a season.
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