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.
Of all the activities that parents and caregivers can do to get children ready for school, reading books and stories with them is the most important! Since we’re talking about mud, here are a few of my favorite muddy books.
Pigs in the Mud, in the Middle of the Rud by Lynn Plourde
Puddleman by Ted Staunton I Love Mud & Mud Loves Me by Vicki Stephens
Ducks in Muck by Lori Haskins and, Mud Puddle by Robert Munsch
The only good mud is in a book. Can you suggest some other great stories about mud? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s playing in the mud.
Yesterday, we walked outside to observe puddles. Today, those same puddles will help kids learn some new vocabulary.
Were the puddles deep or shallow, big or small, wide or narrow? What other words will tell us about puddles? Splishy and splashy, murky or flashy.
Here’s a poem about puddles:
Rain, rain, falls on the street.
Mud in puddles, cleaning my feet. (by James Horner)
Here’s a wonderful mud poem using some great words:
MUD I like mud. I like it on my clothes. I like it on my fingers.
I like it on my toes. Dirt’s pretty ordinary and dust’s a dud.
For a really good mess up, I like Mud! (by John Smith)
Poetry emphasizes the rhythm of a language and is easy for children to learn and imitate. It exercises memory and brain connections. Just think how easily we can remember “Rain, rain, go away, come again another day. Rain, rain, go to Spain, do not show your face again.”
And all this from an ordinary puddle.
After April Showers, the rain leaves great puddles. Yes, puddles can be another learning opportunity–but stay out of the road so you don’t become part of one! Next time it rains, go for a walk and check out all the different shapes. Are puddles round or square? Maybe, their shapes look like something else: a … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – April Showers and Mud Puddles →
With the family coming home for Easter, I dug out some of the decorations that the kids, almost in theirthirties, expect to see. I remembered some of the things that I used to do, too. Growing up on a farm, there was lots of family members that gathered and where to sit everybody was a … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Early Writing →
Using the theme of Easter, kids have been able to practice some basic math, explore movement and enhance big muscle development, and enjoy an art activity and tradition this week in just minutes a day. Here’s another quick and easy idea but one of critical importance for learning to read. Those of you who read … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – What Rhymes With Bunny? →
After discussion at school and in the family about April Fool’s Day needing to be over at noon, I had a few ideas for the blog and fun tricks to play on family members, like putting a bread shaped slice of paper in lunch sandwiches, slicing a banana that’s still in the peel, putting one … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – April Fool’s Noon/Midnight →