Why does it take pirates a long time to learn the alphabet? Because they are always at C (sea). One way to practice letters is with play-dough. This helps for all kids, but especially for those who learn best by touch as opposed to visual or verbal learners. Roll out the barrel, er, I mean roll out some long ropes of playdough and help your little one with letters. What letter starts your munchkin’s name? Can s/he spell STOP? What letter starts pirate and play-dough? Play-dough is also great for practicing cutting. It’s easy to snip and then smoosh back together. If you are making your own playdough, maybe use yellow coloring to make pirate gold. Playdough-an inexpensive but valuable treasure. What’s your favorite recipe?
Playdough is a super learning tool. It is inexpensive and can be made right at home. My favorite recipe is the cooked kind but I have successfully made the dough that uses boiling water. Mix up a batch. Combine yellow and red coloring to make orange and add a drop or two of blue to make a brown. Then, play in the mud!! Here’s a list of learnings:
- have your child roll out the letters of his/her name -roll out circles, triangles, rectangles, squares
- make the shapes of the numbers 1-10 and roll out some little balls to show how many for each
- practice cutting; it’s fantastically easy with playdough -make people or animals and tell a story
- make some different shapes: flat, round, tall, short, long, curved, straight, etc
- grown-ups can form the letters of the alphabet and let kids guess, or kids can make them, too
Building vocabulary, developing fine motor coordination, practicing letters, numbers and counting are just a few of the skills that can be reinforced with playdough. Best of all, it’s almost as much fun as playing in the mud.