Our 5 Senses-themed tot play got an improptu kick-off last week with some much needed warm sensory play the day the heater was broken. So I guess we are doing touch/feel first! Here’s another touchy/feely tot play activity we did with some play dough.
First I had Calvin do some letter-shape practice by tearing off little pieces of play dough to fill in the letters of his name. I try to get some letter-recognition or name-recognition practice in with him every day…. ok maybe every other day. I like this little play dough name practice because it also gets him using his fine motor skills.
Then Calvin helped me shape the play dough into small smooth pieces. I rolled the dough into balls and he pressed them flat. Teamwork. Meanwhile, Henry worked on checking to see if the play dough was good for eating…
After he was completely sure that NO, the play dough was NOT good for eating, Henry gave up on it entirely and moved on to playing with the box of play dough tools and plastic cookie cutters as though it were a sensory bin!
Calvin and I used some of our play dough tools to press bumps and indentions into our smooth shapes, giving them fun textures.
We talked about the textures we were making… smooth, ridged, big bumps, little bumps, and so on. And we talked about how we were using our skin and hands to feel the differences.
These tools happen to be part off a Melissa & Doug set, but you don’t have to have tools like these to do an activity like this. We moved on to using other toys and things from around the house with the play dough to see what textures we could make.
I think Calvin’s favorite was the parasaurolophus. He made lots of impressions of the dinosaur’s scales. We talked about how these impressions of the dinosaurs and the shell and rock were similar to fossil impressions.
When he asked for more play dough to make more textures, we just flipped over all our little circles and they were still smooth on the flip side, all ready for new impressions!
This activity was super simple to throw together, as are pretty much all of the activities we do because I am usually making them up as I go along and using stuff we already have! A jar or two of play dough on hand can go a long way for sensory play, motor skill practice and other hands-on, play-to-learn kinda stuff. And nope, I don’t make the play dough from scratch because that would be too much like cooking/baking and I try to do as little of that as possible!! (Although, I am considering making scented play dough when we get to sense of smell for this 5 senses theme… but I still have to talk myself into it…)