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The Power of Home Made Play Dough

Play dough is a staple in a preschool classroom. The opportunity to roll, smush, pinch, pat, mold, mush, and make with it provides endless possibilities for young children. It also provides valuable learning opportunities related to fine and gross motor skills, creativity, language, and social development.
But making play dough? Well, that takes the whole experience to a new level. When we make play dough in our PreK 4/5 program, the children employ and develop skills related to math, literacy, science and inquiry, fine and gross motor, language, self-control, patience, collaboration, cause and effect, and direction following.
How do we know? Because you hear them say things like:
– “We’re adding three cups of flour, so three children will get a turn.”
– “The blue cup is smaller than the green one. And the green spoon is smallest of all.”
– “The next ingredient is Sssssss… salt!”
– “We’re filling to the top so we have to pour carefully.”
– “When will it be my turn again?”
– “It’s changing! It’s turning into play dough!”
– “It feels warm if I touch it quickly and hot if I leave my hand there.”
– “We’ve added three scoops. Three more to make six.”
And you’ll see them do things like:
– Scooping, measuring, and leveling ingredients
– Waiting for and taking turns
– Sounding out words in the recipe book
– Making observations and predictions
– Stirring hard enough to mix the ingredients but not so hard as to spill
– Kneeding the finished product until it achieves just the right consistency
And best of all? We end up with our very own play dough to work with!

Does your school do something similar?

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