## Learning About Shapes with Play Dough

Play Dough is such a fun learning tool to play with and explore new concepts.
With Miss 2 learning about shapes at the moment, I thought it would be fun for her to play and discover shapes using play dough.  The ideas and possibilities are endless!
I absolutely love the way this invitation to play with play dough and shapes created so many opportunities to learn and play creatively, imaginatively, mathematically, to construct, problem solve, explore, discover and try new things, all while having fun!!
What you will need?

You will need play dough, shape cookie cutters, rolling pins and shape buttons.  I set these items out onto a tray for my kids to create, explore and discover freely with.
The play dough I used for this activity is a Zesty Lemon Scented Play Dough, you can find the recipe {HERE}

Let’s Play

One way my girls utilised the materials was by creating an imaginative play cookie shop.  They used the shape cutters, shape buttons and play dough and turned them into shape cookies and had lots of fun decorating them.  My girls were presenting them onto the tray for selling in their cookie shop.  You can see some ordering, classifying and matching of colours and shapes in the photos.

Let’s Learn

There was so much creativity and learning happening as my girls explored and tried new things.
The cut out play dough shapes created a bit of a puzzle which was matched with a play dough button.  Miss 2 placed play dough shapes together to make a 2D house shape and also snowman.
As my girls were playing along they stumbled upon a problem where we had a diamond shape cookie cutter but did not have a diamond shape button to match.  It was discovered that by putting two triangles together makes a diamond shape.

We left our play dough tools out for about a week and my kids returned to play with the shape cutters, play dough and shape buttons regularly.  Every time they played they created and discovered new ways of utilising the materials.  Here Miss 5 created a 3-D house using the 2-D shapes.  She discovered that putting other shapes together can support, construct and make new shapes.  Miss 5 also later constructed a 3D rocket ship using the cut out play dough shapes.

Learning Opportunities
• Creativity and imaginative play
• Fine Motor Development
• Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
• Concentration
• Spatial awareness – experimenting and exploring with shape and space
• Language development – shape names and communication
• Classifying, matching and sorting
• Problem solving and self-correcting
• Shape recognition
This post is part of our Play Dough Toolbox, click on the links to find out more…..
What is a Play Dough Toolbox?
Importance of Playing with Play Dough
More Play Dough Activity Ideas
More Shapes Activities

## Minty Candy Cane Scented Play Dough Ornaments

Making Play Dough Christmas Ornaments with Minty Candy Cane Scented Play Dough is an open-ended opportunity to play in an unstructured way, allowing children to explore their creativity and imagine.
The Minty Candy Cane Scented Play Dough heightens the sensory experience and was used to make the play dough ornaments which were then decorated with metallic confetti and sequins.
So simple and so much fun…..and a whole lot of learning and skill building happening too.

A little while back I shared with you an activity we did making Salt Dough Christmas Decorations (Ornaments) for the Christmas tree.  Making Christmas Play Dough Ornaments was inspired by this activity and provided an opportunity for my kids to practice and role play the skills and ideas that they learnt from making the salt dough and their salt dough Christmas ornaments.

What you will need?

You will need Minty Candy Cane Scented Play Dough, Christmas Cookie Cutters and Metallic Confetti and Sequins.  I also added three Candy Cane Ornaments from the Christmas tree to add to the creativity.
Click here to view the Minty Candy Cane Scented Play Dough Recipe

Let’s Play

Role Play: Making Christmas Play Dough Ornaments was very much like making our Salt Dough Ornaments.  It involved kneading the play dough, rolling it out flat and pressing the Christmas cookie cutters into the dough.  Using the candy cane ornament my girls made small holes to imitate the ones we made with a straw on our Salt Dough Ornaments.

Decorating the Play Dough Ornaments was so much fun and I absolutely loved watching the creativity and ideas they came up with.  They came up with so many different patterns with shapes and patterns with colours filling up the space and area provided.

Benefits of Playing with Play Dough
• Self-expression
• Imagination and creativity
• Building and strengthening fine motor skills
• Eye and hand coordination
• Problem solving – finding solutions to overcome challenges
• Social interactions
• Spatial awareness
More Play Dough Play Ideas
More Christmas Activities and Ideas

## Pasta Play Dough

Let your child’s imagination run wild as they create and explore play dough and pasta.
Through moulding and manipulating play dough and pasta together is a great play opportunity for kids to experiment with the materials in an unstructured activity.

What you will need?

You will need play dough and an assortment of dry pasta.  Here we have used bows, shells, spaghetti, spiral and penne.  Click here to download and print a recipe for making play dough.

Making and creating an array of weird and wonderful things: Using the different pasta shapes to create eyes, mouths, noses and other features on pasta play dough monster.  Also making a pasta play dough cake, by using the different pasta shapes to create decorative patterns.

I love the imagination: Decorating and making a pasta play dough pizza and creative flowers for their pasta play dough garden.

The learning benefits for playing with play dough:
• Spatial awareness – experimenting with shape and space
• Creative Thinking and concentration skills
• Oral language development – practising and experimenting with new words
• Building up their fine motor skills and  coordination
• Encourages imagination and creativity