The best way to reinforce early literacy skills is with a variety of fun early literacy activities. And play dough makes everything fun!
Below, you’ll find a variety of ways to use play dough as a tool to teach early literacy concepts to preschoolers. Be sure to let us know your favorites in the comments below.
Cathy from NurtureStore provided me a free copy of her new e-book The Homemade Play Dough Recipe Book to review. I was so excited to receive it, as I’m always looking for new ways to make and explore play dough! Plus, I’m a follower of NurtureStore and knew the e-book would contain many great ideas.
Please note that all opinions are my own!
In the book, Cathy provides 7 different play dough recipes. The recipes include no-cook and cooked recipes, along with a gluten-free version. Along with the recipes, there are over 50 different ways to play and learn with the play dough!! There are enough to do a different activity every week for a year. Since my son and my students love play dough, I’m sure I’ll be referring to Cathy’s book often.
As a preschool teacher, I’m always looking for fun and age-appropriate ways to teach literacy skills. I was excited to see that The Homemade Play-Dough Recipe Book includes many such activities. Below are some ways to use play dough when reinforcing literacy skills, as well as pre-literacy skills.
Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills usually refer to small hand movements, especially those used for writing. Playing with play dough helps strengthens the muscles in the hands and fingers. This prepares children for grasping writing utensils. The books, Toothpick Math and Scissor Skills, give children fun ways to improve their fine motor skills — all in the guise of playing! Check out 20 Fine Motor Activities for Kids for more ideas.
Alphabet Dough allows kiddos to play with play dough and practice their letters at the same time. The sensory stimulation as they’re doing so makes the letters even more memorable. Children learn best through play, and play dough is a very playful way to extend their letter knowledge. Refer to Teaching Children About Letters for more letter activities.
Mark Making gives children the opportunity to practice writing in a different way. Play dough adds a different feel to the writing process, as well as other sensory stimulation to make the activity unique.
Cathy incorporates many pretend play ideas in her e-book, and I LOVE that! Pretend play gives children the chance to practice life skills, act out stories, and use their language skills in a safe environment. I think my favorite is her Candy Store activity, as I’ve done something like that in my preschool class before. The children enjoyed it so much, they requested it for weeks!
Shared at Tuesday Tots
It is so much fun to incorporate playdough into various preschool lessons while also allowing the children to practice their fine-motor skills. And, not to mention, the children LOVE to play with it! I’ve made a list full of some of my favorite tools that the children can use along with the playdough. Check them out below.
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Done-for-You Preschool Resources
Planning meaningful lessons for students week after week while balancing other teaching responsibilities and a personal life can be a daunting task. That’s where Preschool Teacher 101 comes in to save you time!
Preschool Teacher 101 has created some amazing preschool lesson and activity plans that will be perfect for your classroom. Click on the images below to learn more about some of our fun process art activities!
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