This soft, and often colorful, modeling material is just one of many staples one will see within the preschool classroom. One that is homemade, often by the preschoolers, using a mixture of flour, water, salt, oil, and color (if desired). A simple dough. One that offers endless amounts of exploration and learning, all while giving children the opportunity to touch on various developmental domains.
During my observation of the children exploring the freshly made, berry-red dough, I was able to capture an abundance of hands-on, meaningful play that the playdough provided the children with.
She works to place the dough precisely on top of a wooden stick
“I have a lollipop!”
Using her upper body strength, she rolls the dough to flatten it, going back and fourth numerous times. As she continues, she discovers that the shape of her dough becomes longer and thinner.
Another child created a ball-like shape, by using her hands and fingers to achieve the shape desired.
After creating many small bits of playdough, she carefully places the pieces on a wooden spoon, one by one.
This small group of three girls were exploring the family life; creating food and other sorts of family necessities.
“Mom, what is baby doing with her playdough?”
“I said baby could use it, sweetie.”
“Look at my hat!”
With his full body strength, he pushes smaller pieces of playdough into a larger piece, using both his hands and a wooden hammer.
Prior to setting up this activity for the children, I did some exploration of my own. Curious about how playdough, more specifically, Play-Doh, came to be what it is today, I did some research, and came across quite a bit of interesting information. I think you might enjoy it; take a look! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Play-Doh