We’re getting a touch of cabin fever around here as cold weather lingers, and lately play dough seems to be Veronika’s favorite indoor toy to bust the boredom. So today we played with it in a few novel ways!
First up, since she was playing with an alien stuffed animal, we decided to make play dough aliens! These could be monsters, aliens, or just funny faces, whichever version your child wants to create. To help her imagination, I set out items from the craft bin like large wiggle eyes, feathers, and pipe cleaners, and showed her a few examples for how the creations could look.
Pipe cleaners proved to be much easier for her if I snipped them into small pieces first, although she tested out big pieces, too!
Next we added in a little learning with play dough letters! You can use cookie cutters in letter shapes if you have them, but I simply rolled these by hand for her. Preschoolers and kindergartners will benefit from shaping each letter by themselves.
For Veronika, it was more about shape recognition. I was thrilled when I asked her what letter we needed for Veronika, and she immediately knew it was a V. Before I could even ask she said, “Mom, can you make a T for Travis?” Happy to oblige!
Next up, we put on our engineering caps and tried to build towers. I showed her how to use playdough as a base to stick in toothpicks, and then we tried to build the structure as high as three layers.
When our 3-D towers toppled down, she enjoyed connecting two toothpicks together with a sticky ball of play dough as “glue”. This was a great method to make flat shapes like squares and triangles. She kept the play going long after I stepped away to get some work done. I overheard her talking about making “drums” and adding “ears” and all sorts of other imaginative games with just a ball of orange play dough and leftover toothpicks. “And then he lost his ears!” she exclaimed.