Play with Math… through PlayDoh

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Play dough is one of our all-time favorite play materials. It’s great for children of all ages and provides a sensory play experience that can be adapted in so many different ways to encourage lots of learning. It lends itself well to exploring many aspects of math – through number recognition, counting, shape exploration and construction. NurtureStore has a free Let’s Play Dough e-book that’s got some great, easy-to-make play dough recipes in, so why not mix up a batch and try out these ideas for fun play dough math play.

Math: Counting

1. Try QuirkyMomma’s tip of combining stencils with play dough to make a set up numbers – then use them to make maths problems.

2. Or you could use NurtureStore’s basic recipe and make a set of numbers you can really eat.

3. Creativity My Passion shows you how to make a simple dry erase mat, which you can use to draw numbers then add play dough to make a 3-D version on top. Tracing these numbers is a great way for tactile learners to get to know their digits.

4. Teach Preschool has a fun idea for gumball counting, which works on number recognition and fine motor skills.

5. And you can find another take on matching doh and numbers over at Pre-Kinders where there is a free Feed The Giraffe  mat download.

6. Every child likes to count how old they are and The Golden Gleam’s idea of pretend birthday cakes and candles lets you role play a party any day of the year.

7. The play dough sweet shop over at The Imagination Tree is ever so pretty but also invites children to play around with math ideas, as they count lolly pops, fill and empty jars and buy and sell the goodies in the store.

Play Dough Math: Shapes

8. Math isn’t just about counting of course, and play dough is a great way to explore shapes. Try this idea for chocolate dough mixed with a chocolate box and you can have lots of fun exploring different shapes and sizes.

9. Or take some toothpicks and test out how you can make and combine different shapes to create super structures.

10.Your turn now. What’s your favorite way to mix in some math with your play dough games? Leave a comment and share your best idea with us.



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Cathy About Cathy

Cathy James writes NurtureStore, a blog which is packed full of play ideas, kids' crafts and fun activities. Visit NurtureStore to sign up for a free weekly Play Planner or follow the ideas on Facebook.

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