This is one child's use of the springtime dough that our childminding group made on Monday! The dough was scented with lemon flavouring (a baking ingredient but scented essential oil would work very well). The recipe can be found on this post here. We sat and observed the children playing with the dough and made some notes about what they were doing, then as a group shared and put them into the six areas of learning.
PSED: Dispositions and attitudes - children becoming interested and absorbed by what they are doing; self-confidence, particularly if a child is not keen on messy play but then decide to have a go which could be a big step forwards for him/her; making relationships as they play alongside one another, sharing tools and chatting about their play and ideas (fewer resources than there are children can lead to some good problem solving if you support the children to work out a solution to the 'problem'!); Behaviour and self-control - problem-solving and sharing is part of this, as well as following rules for playdough such as keeping it at the table etc; self-care - knowing that it isn't good to eat and washing hands afterwards!
CLL: Language for communication - talking about what they see, smell and feel and what they are doing enhances children's vocabulary, especially if you give them some new 'describing' words. It could turn into a fun rhyme if you encourage the children to experiment with their words as they play; language for thinking - using talk to organise and sequence what they are doing and thinking, for example they might 'narrate' everything they do, so you know that they are planning and understaning what they are doing. Using 'positional' language such as 'on top of', 'inside', 'under', 'nest to' is a big step for children in language; writing - making marks in the dough, shaping letters.
PSRN: Numbers as labels and for counting - children might make representations of numbers with the dough; calculating - count the number of objects they have made, sharing out "half for you" etc; shape, space and measure - talking about shapes "this circle", "that curve there" etc, using words to describe weight and volume "heavy" "more than" etc, having the children measure out the ingredients is even better - the recipe is great for children as it is measured in numbers of cups rather than grams or ounces!
KUW: Exploration and investigation - learning about changes and patterns could be achieved if the children help you make the dough in the first place (powdery flour to wet and sloppy mixture to firm, squashy dough is amazing for a child to see!!); designing and making - constructing with the dough if you add straws of different lengths, craft sticks etc.
PD: Using equipment and materials - children use a range of fine-motor movements and can refine skills such as cutting (scissors or knife), pressing through a garlic press, using tweezers, rolling pins, biscuit cutters etc, all of these help to develop hand and finger strength later needed for achieving correct pencil grip and writing.
CD: responding to experiences, expressing and communicating ideas - children responding to the sight, smell and tecture of the dough (put it out when it is still warm and reshly made!); exploring media and materials - the children working with colour, texture, shape, space and form in two and three dimensions (how perfect play dough is to meet this aspect!!); developing imagination and imaginative play - I have watched children as they have made bee hives, fairy gardens, fairy houses, birthday party food, you name it, a child can make it out of playdough!
Here is some information linked to the EYFS to do with messy play.
These playdough ideas will give you some inspiration all year round!
I printed these simple number mats to laminate and put out with the dough.
This is the second in a series of our group looking at how everyday activities in your home can support all six areas of learning and devlopment, you may also be interested in the post on cooking!