Play dough can be an amazing doorway into imaginary lands.
Take a batch of home-made dough - we always use this no-cook play dough recipe - and add in some food coloring to set the scene. Today we went with blue for the ocean.
Provide some props. I like to offer open-ended items – materials that are open to being used in any way the children choose. Shells are the perfect match for an ocean theme, but we’ve also used black play dough and drinking straws for a space theme, herb play dough and pasta to make a pizza parlour and green play dough and garden flowers to make a fairy land.
Add in a child’s imagination. Invite the children to play and see what creative ideas they come up with. The play dough is so versatile they can use it to make a landscape, create model characters or use it to hold props together to build under the sea palaces.
My girls had hours of fun playing with this ocean play dough but I also know there is a lot of learning taking place too.
- fine motor skills get a great workout as the children manipulate the dough – making things easier when they start to write or begin to tie their own shoelaces
- they learn to co-operate and get along with friends, by sharing the play materials and coming up with play ideas together
- language skills are developed as they narrate their story together and make up voices for the characters
- they learn to problem solve and try out new techniques – when the original shell drawbridge design falls over and needs repairing
How are your kids playing with play dough this week?
Need some more fresh ideas for play dough fun? The Quirky Mommas have some awesome ones for you: