Under the Sea Play Dough Activity

This play dough tray is the perfect addition to any ocean theme. Preschoolers will enjoy building their own seascapes with driftwood, shells, and other goodies. I am so excited to present this invitation to play.

PLAY DOUGH RECIPE:

– 2 cups of plain flour
– 2 tbsp. of cooking oil
– 1 cup of salt
– 1 tsp.cream of tartar
– 2 cups of water
– Water color or food coloring

Add the color to the water and mix well. Mix all of the ingredients into a large pan. Cook slowly on medium heat, stirring until the dough thickens. Remove from heat, let cool, and knead.

MATERIALS USED:

– Driftwood
Seashells
Ocean animal figurines
Acrylic craft jewels
– Starfish


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The Power of Play Dough

I thought it would be fun to set up a play dough bakery. I made some chocolate colored/scented dough and some lavender glitter dough. I also provided birthday candles, wooden flower decorations, colored beads (sprinkles), pie and bread tins, rolling pins, ice cream scoops, silicone cupcake holders, a serving platter with a doily, cookie cutters, etc.. I had everything ready to go before my class arrived.

This is Chloe. She is always so serious and straight-faced in the mornings, so I was thrilled to see her chatting and smiling while making her “special star cookie”. Some of the kids made birthday cakes and cupcakes while singing “Happy Birthday” to each other.

There are so many benefits to playing with this squishy substance.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Play dough allows preschoolers to come up with unique and creative ideas. Children often express pride in accomplishments when they use play dough in purposeful and meaningful ways. Social skills grow as they share space and materials.

FINE MOTOR SKILLS

Children use their hands and tools to pound, push, poke, shape, flatten, roll, cut, and scrape the dough. Through these experiences, they develop eye-hand coordination and control, dexterity, and strength; critical skills they will need later for writing, drawing, and other purposes.

LANGUAGE/LITERACY

Working with play dough helps young children to enhance their language abilities. They practice listening, understanding, speaking, and communicating skills as they negotiate roles and engage in conversations with classmates and teachers. Materials like play dough encourage preschoolers to describe and reflect on what they are doing.

SCIENCE AND MATH

As young children discuss what they are doing with the dough, they often engage in scientific thinking. They learn through tactile experiences, observing and reflecting on how materials feel and change (grainy, smooth, round, flat). Math skills increase as children compare shapes, measure sizes, and count.

It’s safe to say, NEVER underestimate the power of play dough.


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