Layered Play Dough Excavation

Play Dough Food Tracks (10)

After excavating through Jell-O, today Veronika could pretend to be an archaeologist with play dough instead.

Okay, maybe she didn’t know exactly what we were pretending, but I like to introduce imaginary scenarios into sensory play at this age, as Veronika nears age 2. First up, we explored various ways to make “fossil” marks, and for this we turned to food in our kitchen.

Play Dough Food Tracks (1)

I showed Veronika how to press various items into flat portions of play dough to see what marks they left behind. She was interested in the bumpy lines left by Twizzlers.

Play Dough Food Tracks (3)

And by the swirls from corkscrew pasta.

Play Dough Food Tracks (4)

We tested out nuts as well as rolling bigger items like apples over the play dough, more like a rolling pin, but these weren’t as interesting. Triscuit crackers left a cool print…

Play Dough Food Tracks (2)

…but since she was tempted to eat them, I nixed the idea!

Play Dough Food Tracks (5)

Older toddlers can pretend these are real fossil finds. Prehistoric fish bones perhaps! You can have lots of fun with other items too, like ears of corn, little fruits like grapes or blueberries, or even utensils like a fork.

Play Dough Food Tracks (7)

Next up in the fun, I layered all the colors of play dough together like the strata of an archaeological dig. At first I placed them in a jar, but this proved too tricky for her to “dig” down into with a plastic fork and spoon.

Play Dough Food Tracks (8)

Instead, we mushed all the colors together on a tray. She called these her “rocks” and enjoyed poking at them with the fork and spoon.

Play Dough Food Tracks (11)

Needless to say, the game kept Veronika quite busy, even if she didn’t always understand the pretend that went with the play.

Play Dough Food Tracks (9)

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