At play with playdough people in preschool

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on March 31, 2011

in DIY, motor skills, play Dough, Play Dough People, The Value of Play

I recently acquired these little people shaped craft sticks. The craft stick people were unfinished so I painted a few of them blue and a few of them red…

I am always looking to add new dimensions of play to the materials we already have in the classroom. So I added the people shaped craft sticks to the playdough table today…

The children started off by simply exploring the two different kinds of materials by sticking the playdough people into large clumps of playdough…

After the children explored the “mechanics” of the two materials together for awhile, I asked if I could play too. I rolled a smaller piece of playdough into a little ball and stuck my playdough person into the ball… Then I “walked” my playdough person across the table to talk to the other playdough people…

As I said “hello” to the other playdough people, the children naturally used their playdough people to say “hello” back to me. After a few minutes, I left my playdough person on the table and walked away to observe again from a little bit of a distance…

The play now began to broaden. I observed the children…

  • using their hands to break apart and roll smaller clumps of playdough which worked those fine motor skills
  • participating in pretend play as they had their playdough people talk to each other
  • interacting with each other as their playdough people visited their friends
  • discovering and exploring a new way to play with playdough

It didn’t take long before the table was full of children joining in…

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