3 1/2 years old

Play Dough Bugs


We are still loving learning about bugs and talking about bugs while we're playing outside, so we brought it inside today to make some play dough bugs!  Ethan loves playing with play dough, and he had loads of ideas of all the different bugs that he could make with all of the items in the tray.

I set out two different colours of play dough (which he didn't mix together at all, I was so surprised!) as well as some pipe cleaners, straws, googly eyes, popsicle sticks, pom poms and foam pieces.  I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get in some scissor work as well, so I gave Ethan some foam sheets to cut into wings.  The foam was quite tricky for Ethan to cut with children's scissors, but he was really determined.  He did enjoy cutting through the play dough with his scissors and happily cut it up into hundreds of little pieces!

After all that cutting Ethan was straight to work making bugs!  I was so impressed that he just got straight to work making a shape of a bug body and then forming the play dough into small pieces for eyes and legs, he had such a vision for what his bug should look like that he almost forgot about all the fun accessories that he could use.

His first bug was just a random creation, but next he decided to make a spider.  He cut up loads of pieces of play dough then put them all together to look like a big furry spider.  Then we cut up some straws and pipe cleaners to be the spiders legs and Ethan counted out 8 of them as he put them in.  Then he added some eyes (3 for some reason, but I wasn't going to correct that one) and there was his spider!

Of course I couldn't let Ethan have all the fun, so I may have made an ant...

Then I showed Ethan how to make a snail by rolling the play dough into a long piece, then curling it up into a spiral.  He really enjoyed doing that and I think that it helped him to understand how to roll out the play dough as he hadn't seemed to be able to do it previously.

Lastly we made a fly, again working on Ethan's rolling (this time into a round shape) and then adding some eyes and wings.

Ethan enjoyed this activity immensely and worked on so many different skills without even realising it.  He was using his creativity by inventing different types of bugs, he was learning about the features of real bugs, he was counting out body parts, cutting different materials and following instructions.  This is why we love play dough so much!

If you're looking for more fun bug and spring time ideas, please take a peek at our Pinterest board:

Follow Play & Learn Everyday's board Spring on Pinterest.

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  1. We shall certainly be trying out this activity in the spring when looking for bugs!

  2. Thankyou have interview in pre shool next week and needed some suggestions for a practical observation on minibeasts


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