Getting creative with play-doh...
Play-Doh is probably one of the all-time favourite resources in the infant classroom! It's not just a sensory incitement that compels the children to reach for the play-doh at every opportunity, it's also a very useful and versatile resource for a teacher to use throughout the day, in any lesson. They one down side about Play-Doh is that it is expensive! And because of an already stretched budget, I started to make my own play-doh about 5 years ago. So, as you can imagine I've tried a fair few different recipes over the years.
Slow Cooker Play-Doh Recipe
This slow cooker recipe is by far the best in my opinion. It lasts for months without becoming sticky or smelly. It is easy to make and requires just a few ingredients. You can make this on the hob in a pot but I find it far more difficult to clean the pot as it tends to stick. It doesn't seem to stock to the slow cooker so much which makes it really easy to clean.
Getting Creative With Play-Doh - Top Tips!
Making my own play-doh is not just light on my pocket but it also allows me the opportunity to make different colours that link better to the activity or theme I am working on in the classroom. So here are just a few creative ideas for bringing playdoh into your day!
Developing fine-motor skills
Adding small sequence or confetti as a playful accessory to your play-doh is the perfect way to make an activity more theme-centered. Throw in a small tweezers and work on developing fine-motor!
The Pumpkin Patch!
Exciting the senses by adding some scent to your play-doh is a great way to bring learning to the next level! Our sense of smell is a powerful learning tool and is known to help children retain new information in long term memory. Here are a few ways you might link a scent to your teaching theme:
Play-doh through the seasons - apple, pumpkin, harvest, cinnamon, pine, lemon,
Moods - lavender or any other essential oils
Fun fair, birthday, sweet shop - Cotton candy scent
Play-Doh loose Parts Trays
One sure way to link your play-doh into your theme is to set up little play-doh trays with a selection of loose parts. Pop the play-doh in the middle and add 4/5 different accessories that match the theme.
Stamps and imprints!
We all know that play-doh makes the perfect canvas for imprints. Another opportunity for linking into themes is to make your own stamps or simply using what's around the classroom to imprint on the play-doh.
Play-doh works as a great adhesive for construction play. The children can use it to 'stick' one object to another. At the end of play, the dough it is gathered back into a ball ready to use next time.
Extending your Learning Opportunities
Extend your learning opportunities by taking some photos and sharing them with the class at the end of the activity. Not only does this offer an opportunity to reinforce your focus language but it works as a way of sharing playful ideas with the class. Encouraging the children to play in an Aistear area they may not have tried yet.
Why not do a play-doh lesson with your class? Teach them how to make play-doh so that they can make it at home themselves! One of the main elements of the Aistear framework is the connection between home and school, so giving the children an opportunity to bring their learning home should be a underlying component your teaching. Visit my class blog where I share my play-doh lesson with the children here.
Here's another procedure writing lesson I did with a different class using the tuff tray!
You can et these playful Maths Play-Doh Mats on my Mash.ie store. Follow this link.
I would like to thank the children who kindly consented to having their work samples and/or photographs used on this website. Infant Education was granted parental permission for the participation of their children on this website.
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