Today we decided to use our play dough in a different sort of way, instead of shaping our dough into animals, we made homes for them instead (well their zoo enclosure homes). This was a great way to have fun with play dough, work on a few different skills and play with some animal toys.
We started by using our favourite play dough recipe for Kool Aid Play Dough to make two different colours of dough. Then I explained to Ethan that we wanted to make different areas for the animals to live, but that they all had to be different because the animals have different needs. So I reminded him of the various ways that we have played with play dough before, and had him rolling it into balls, into long strands and flattening it out.
He really put a lot of effort into making sure that each animals' enclosure was just right, picking up the animal and fitting it in, them making their home bigger if he needed to. We talked about the different animals and why they would need different homes, and he decided that he would have to make a lake for the hippo to live in because hippos live in the water. We also talked about snakes and how they are usually behind glass so that they can't slither out.
We even experimented with new ways of forming the play dough, making pointy shapes to go around the elephant enclosure that are like hedges to keep the very large elephants in their home. Ethan got really into it and was finding other animal toys to make homes for.
Playing with play dough is so valuable for Ethan's learning as he's working all the little muscles in his hands while he's forming the dough. It's just fun to take it to another level and get him thinking about what he's making too. I can see a lot of other fun play dough challenges to come!