7 Activity ideas to get the most out of your play dough.
Play dough is such a versatile resource. For the Early Years stage (0-5 yrs), it can be used to explore virtually any topic or practice a whole range of skills. But sometimes we all run out of steam and children do get bored with the same activity again and again, so here are 7 activity ideas to get the most out of your play dough; one for every day of the week!
This is a brilliant way of building confidence with cutting in toddlers and younger pre-schoolers. Playdough is much easier to cut than paper, giving them a confidence boost and taking the frustration out of grappling with more challenging cutting activities.
-Numbers and letters
This can be done in many ways: free play with wooden letters, specific letters they are currently learning, starting to put letters together to form CVC words, or moulding the play dough into the shapes of letters using a laminated play dough mat.
Dinosaur or animal footprints is a consistent favourite choice round here; this is always the beginning of a great storytelling session, with little imaginations really running wild!
Loose parts can be made of anything small and malleable– we raid pound shops for flat-bottomed glass beads, coloured sticks, cupcake cases, string, toothpicks, etc. to make into patterns and create with. Adding play dough to this opens a whole new opportunity for creating 3D structures and models.
Already in the house, these provide a great chance for making creative marks onto playdough– potato mashers are great for this, as are forks, egg cups, lemon juicers…
Numicon is a brilliant resource for early maths. Most Early Years settings will have a set, with children quickly learning the number of holes or spaces in each piece and how they can fit together. Numicon and play dough work well together; the children can roll little balls to fit inside, or build towers, adding and taking away as they play.
FREE natural materials such as pinecones, feathers, sticks, stones, pebbles and shells are great with play dough. Mark making can be really interesting this way, as can creating unique designs and pieces or art.
So there you have it, 7 activity ideas to get the most out of your play dough. Most of these ideas are free with things you might already have, many are low-cost and all are easy to do time and again. All you have to do is switch around the location, the stimulus (i.e. maybe link an activity to a different picture book) or focus on something current going on; a birthday party, the seasons changing, etc. et voila, a whole new activity is born!
If you are interested in more play dough activities, be sure to check out the Rabbit Ideas Pinterest Play Dough Board which has a wide selection of pins to see.
*Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links to products similar to ones we have used. If you purchase though the links, I may receive a small percentage of the profits to support the running of this blog. This will not affect the cost of the products to the buyer.
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