When children open Playdough, a million different things can be created. Very young children love to manipulate it, mold it, roll it and squish it between their fingers to experience what they can do with it. As a retired Pre-K teacher, I also know how well this helps strengthen those small muscles in fingers and hands. Eventually as those muscles are developed, children are increasingly more able to cut with scissors and hold pencils properly to draw pictures, and write letters.
Did you know, though, that there are many different concoctions children can explore and play with? (Now there is a fun vocabulary word for your kids: concoctions) My son, and I, had such fun mixing and exploring all kinds of things together when he was little. One concoction we created was Oobleck after reading Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr Seuss.
That is an interesting substance for kids to experience!
Check your local library, or Amazon for books on the subject.
Our favorite was mixing flour, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract to make a variety of yummy cookies. Yes, some concoctions are edible. We made sugar cookies, and lots of chocolate chip cookies from scratch. Talk about good times!
Also, back when I was much younger, I simply loved Silly Putty.
I remember using Silly Putty to lift comics in the newspaper. I had never seen anything like that before! It was so cool because you could also stretch it real far, make it into ball that bounced, and it would never dry out. You just needed to pop it back in the little plastic egg container, and you could play with it again tomorrow.
Older children may be interested in discovering the ingredients to make silly putty. I recently met a teacher who did just that with her class.
There are many recipes available online, just be careful to read the ingredients to be sure they are safe for children to use. Here is one Silly Putty recipe.
Oh, and since it is still summer come check out Barb’s summer contest on her Facebook page, Barb’s Books. Some lucky child will win one of my children’s picture books about my silly, water loving cat, GG.
As you encourage artistic expression, see also Creating a Learning Space.
What a cute way to make a child feel that his endeavors are very important.