contains affiliate links
Welcome to Day 7 of 30 Days to Transform Your Play! After a weekend of reflecting, purging and resetting, we have a lovely new creative space. More spaces are coming and I’m deep into observing Cameron and Lucy’s play. Are you ready for this week? I let you know what you need to prepare, so let’s get into it!
Exploring play dough
Start with natural play dough and minimal materials to use with it. Using homemade dough with no colouring or extras (i.e. scents, glitter) is ideal for interest-based play and exploration. This maintains the play dough as simply a foundation for imaginative and constructive play.
Play dough is such a versatile medium and having it readily available can result in many engaging play experiences and representations of knowledge.
By exploring playdough in various ways, and using it to create symbolic representations; children make connections between their environments and the larger world in which they live. It also lends itself to reflection upon the new information they are learning and an outlet to express their learning and ideas.
Play dough materials
Some ideas for open-ended loose parts to use with dough:
- nature – stones, shells, sticks, leaves, nuts/seeds, flowers, small pinecones, etc
- modelling tools
- buttons and beads
- mini dowels
- craft cubes
- glass gems
- wooden discs
- craft mirror tiles
- popsicle sticks
- mini tree cookies
- craft match sticks
Of course, just choose a few items and present them in lovely natural and/or neutral containers (wood, metal, transparent). I typically include a couple of items for construction, a few interesting textures and figures pertaining to my children’s interests.
Consider using the play dough and materials on a large white tile or a mirror tile. Store it in an air-tight clear container (jar or acrylic tub) that your children can open.
- Set up a simple play dough invitation to play and explore – taking into account your child’s interests at this point.
- Allow the opportunity for them to revisit the dough over the week and take note of the play evolution.
- Observe and reflect on their play – watch how they manipulate the dough and materials and record your findings.
- Consider how you can extend on their play, exploration and learning to create more meaningful representations and engaging playful experiences.