Play-dough Fossil Fun

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw

Play-dough Fossil Fun!

Preparation Time: Less than 5 minutes 
Engagement: 45-60 minutes
Clean up: Less than 5 minutes
Waste: 0 

This is such a simple, quick and easy activity for little ones to enjoy. Anything that involves play-dough, Harry is there! He doesn’t tire from the stuff, similar to most toddlers I should imagine?

So I got the play-dough out for the 3845272 time, but this time I got the small world dinosaurs out too and pressed a few into some play-dough knowing Harry would be watching, then I let him crack on. He immediately mimicked me and started exploring all the dinosaurs and foliage to see what marks they made. He did this over and over for AGES!

Resources

  • Play-dough- ‘Shop bought’ play-dough creates a clearer print than homemade play-dough in our experience
  • Small world Dinosaurs
  • Plastic Cutlery

Preparation 

  • Clear a hard surface- we used our ‘Tuff tray’
  • Open pots of play-dough- I leave the dough in the pots and let Harry manipulate it out of the pots himself.
  • Scatter small world dinosaurs and foliage around the tray
  • Let your little one explore!

You could obviously do this with any animals/objects, the more textured/unusual the item, the better! I think the most enjoyable part of play dough is the mark making isn’t it?

Benefits of this activity

  • Language Development
    *Describing textures- smooth, soft, bumpy etc
    *Naming utensils
    *Naming Dinosaurs
    *Giving instructions- Press, lift, feel etc.
  • Cognitive Skills;
    * Problem solving- Harry spent a little time exploring the different amounts of pressure he needed to get the prints he wanted.
    * Trial and error
  • Social & Emotional Skills;
    * Time to focus on the development of new skills
    * A period of calm
    * Mimicking one another
  • Motor Skills ;
    *Fine motor skill development- pressing dough, trying to lift items out of the dough carefully etc.
    * Development of co-ordination and strength- altering amounts of pressure being applied etc.
  • Creative Development;
    * Child led
    * Children discover different mark making items
    * Allows for use of imagination and creativity
  • Hand-eye co-ordination;
    *Removing the dough from the pots
    * Manipulating fingers and dough to remove items after being printed- this was tricky at times

I plan to collect some bits and pieces on our next walk, and have another go at this using some more ‘natural objects’. I am sure it will entertain Harry just as well, watch this space!

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