During our month of dinosaurs the Little Tots have been playing with this dinosaur playdough non-stop. The most popular activity has been seeing how many dinosaurs they can fit on a piece of playdough and making dinosaur footprints.
Using the our easy no cook playdough recipe I added green food colouring and some dried herbs to give it a lovely smell. I wanted it to smell like a forest / grass so used the stronger smelling herbs sage and oregano but I think any dried herb would do to give it an added sensory experience.
I was hoping for a deeper colour green but the Little Tots still loved it and one described it as smelling like a “lovely jungle” so it was a success in their eyes.
I set it out a few times as an Invitation to Play with some small dinosaurs, pebbles and pine cones but also just left it out with nothing or just the dinosaurs to see what the Little Tots would add to it themselves. I’ve talked about the benefits of playdough in here – we just love it!
Early Years Outcomes
Playdough is a wonderful resource to observe many of the EYO’s that I have to do as a childminder as part of the children’s learning and development. Here are a few of the things I’ve observed from age range 18 months – 4 1/2 years (plus the after school children have loved this too).
- Physical Development – Enjoys the sensory experience of making marks in damp sand, paste or paint, Uses simple tools to effect changes to materials
- Personal, social and emotional development – Gradually able to engage in pretend play with toy, can select and use activities and resources with help, Plays alongside others.
- Understanding the world – Becomes absorbed in combining objects, explores objects by linking together different approaches shaking, hitting, looking, feeling, tasting, mouthing, pulling, turning and poking, enjoys playing with small-world models
- Expressive arts and design – Explores and experiments with a range of media through sensory exploration, and using whole body. Notices and is interested in the effects of making movements which leave marks. Beginning to be interested in and describe the texture of things. Realises tools can be used for a purpose. Manipulates materials to achieve a planned effect. Constructs with a purpose in mind, using a variety of resources. Selects tools and techniques needed to shape, assemble and join materials they are using. Pretends that one object represents another. Beginning to make-believe by pretending. Builds stories around toys
- Maths – counting dinosaurs, comparing sizes, talking about shapes they leave in the playdough.