This morning the Little Tots have been practicing their fine motor skills and working all those muscles in their little hands by exploring these playdough dinosaur eggs.

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I used the playdough from our Ocean theme as it had a lovely pale colour to hide some small dinosaurs in and then rolled it up into an egg shape. I then added it to a tray with some fake grass, trees, sand, pebbles and larger dinosaurs to create  a Dino Small World.

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dinosaur playdough

We’ve been reading a book called “Tom and the Dinosaur Egg” a lot, which is where our dinosaur theme for this month has come from, so the Little Tots guessed straight away what the playdough was with a squeal of “ooooooh dinosaur eggs!” coming from the 2 year old.

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They all enjoyed working really hard to pull the playdough apart to find the hidden dinosaurs and I kept hiding them back in the playdough so they could pull them out over and over again. As well as working those little hands this activity also has a lot of ways you can extend it, here’s what else we did:

  • Introducing the concept of big and small as they matched up the smaller dinosaurs to the larger ones.
  • Talking about family – which dinosaurs had a mummy, daddy, brother, sister etc.
  • Counting how many there was.
  • Describing texture of the playdough, sand, pebbles and grass.
  • Making dinosaur imprints (or fossils) on the playdough.
  • Small world imaginative play.

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I will definitely be coming up with other things to hide in playdough again as they all enjoyed this and held their attention for a long time.


Early Years Outcomes

As this activity has so many extension ideas I was able to make a lot of observations for the 18m, 21m and 2 year old that played with it and it covered the 7 areas of Learning & Development set out in the EYFS and EYO’s.

  • Communication & Language: Focussed attention, sitting still, understands simple concepts (big/little), building vocabulary, describing their experience
  • Expressive Arts & Design: Experiments to combine textures (playdough and sand), manipulates materials to planned effect, using props to create role play, building stories around props, plays alongside other children engaged in the same theme.
  • Literacy: Mark making.
  • Maths: counting, sorting, concept of size.
  • Physical Development: Picking up small objects, building fine motor skills, squatting with steadiness to play with things on the floor.
  • Personal, Social & Emotional Development: Playing alongside others, shows interest in the activity of others, initiates play by offering cues for peers to join in, starting to join in pretend play, taking turns.
  • Understanding the World: Talking about family, watching toys being hidden and trying to find them, enjoys playing with small world models.


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