Since dragons are imaginary creatures—as far as we know, kids can create any kind of play dough dragons and play treasure with them too. Fiery breath is optional.
Play dough is available pre-made and is reasonably priced. There are several different recipes for homemade play dough using basic ingredients that you likely already have at home. It’s simple and really inexpensive. (Here are directions for making a batch.) Plasticine is another possibility.
Earlier this month, we read lots of books about dragons. The kids also made up some of their own stories. There are a few children’s tv shows and movies about dragons. For the most part, dragons are big, look similar to a dinosaur, and have wings. After that, anything goes.
Since the kids play with play dough often, we usually have a batch or two ready to go in the fridge. The only adult intervention was suggesting making some play dough dragons or burying some dragon treasure. The kids liked the idea and directed their own play. Little Sister mostly just liked burying and finding treasure in the play dough. We had some small colored rocks, plastic spheres, and a clear plastic heart that were easy to clean off later.
Play dough isn’t messy but it is still sensory. Besides the texture of the play dough, kids feel all the different shapes and designs they create. Big pieces of play dough have a heavier weight than smaller ones. Their sense of touch helps them make smooth parts and bumpy ones on their dragons. There’s lots of stimulation for seeing with color, shapes, designs, and sizes. The same goes for hearing as kids slap, tap, pound, squish, and more. Hopefully, kids aren’t tasting it, but there might be some smell. For our homemade batches, we often add a drop or two of peppermint or lavender.
Just think of all the time and effort it took an adult to make these dragons. Kids aren’t the only ones that like play dough dragons. The small or fine muscles in the body are very active in the squeezing, rolling, squishing, pinching, and whatever else kids need to do to shape their dragons. Brains are busy too organizing, solving problems, imagining, figuring out, and thinking. Creating combines both the thinking and the actions. Could making play dough dragons and playing with treasure spark your child’s play?