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You are invited to download the summer playdough mats – learning printables for preschool and kindergarten children. Use this resource with playdough outlines to create hands-on summer activities for your students to supplement their learning in various areas such as literacy and creativity.
Benefits of Playdough in the preschool classroom
Playdough activities provide numerous benefits for kids, including improving their fine motor skills as they manipulate and shape the dough. When playing with playdough, children also enhance their creativity, imagination, and cognitive abilities as they explore different ways to mold and create with the dough.
Engaging in playdough activities can also help children develop their social skills as they interact with others and share materials. Furthermore, the tactile nature of playdough can be soothing and calming for children, making it a great tool for stress relief and sensory exploration.
Playdough fine motor activities can enhance a child’s hand-eye coordination and grip strength, encouraging the development of their fine motor skills. The malleable texture of playdough requires the child to manipulate and mold the material, which helps strengthen the small muscles in their fingers and hands that are necessary for writing, drawing, and other daily tasks.
Additionally, playing with playdough can promote creativity and imaginative play, providing an opportunity for children to explore and express their thoughts and ideas. Overall, playdough activities can be a fun and beneficial tool for improving a child’s motor skills and cognitive development. They are a fun, versatile, and educational way for kids to learn and grow.
Some great fine motor activities include using playdough to create letters or numbers, making shapes and patterns, and sculpting animals or objects. Children can also use tools such as rolling pins and cookie cutters to enhance their playdough experience. Additionally, adding natural scents and colors to playdough can provide a multisensory experience and further engage children in their exploration.
Natural playdough can be made with simple ingredients found in the kitchen. In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar, and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Gradually add in 2 cups of boiling water, stirring until a dough forms. Divide the dough into portions and add natural dyes such as beetroot or turmeric powder for color. Knead until smooth and enjoy moldable fun that is safe for kids to play with. Store in an airtight container for prolonged use.
Summer Playdough Mats
This resource is going to be an exciting addition to your summer work shelves in the Montessori and early childhood classrooms.
Playdough sensory activities along with coloring and cutting activities are beneficial for a child’s fine motor development. Encourage children to create summer elements such as beach, sunglasses, watermelon, starfish, surfboard, etc. using playdough templates. These mats can be also used with loose parts and various art mediums such as crayons, paints, pastels, and pencils.
Here is what’s included:
- Playdough mats featuring summer blackline shapes with tracing and initial/final sounds x 25
- Playdough Mats featuring summer color shapes with labels and initial/final sounds x 25
Age: Preschool ages 2.5 – 5 years
Subjects and uses in the classroom: Beach Unit, Summer Unit, Literacy Centers, Fine motor, Prewriting, Creative thinking
Here are some of my recommendations on how you can use these mats
Choose mats that appeal to your students most – color or pages with black and white outlines. Print and laminate the mats. Laminating is optional if you print on cardstock and don’t plan to reuse the mats next year.
Gather or make playdough using bright summer colors. Also, gather erasable markers or pencils.
Invite the child to decorate the mat using playdough – make the shape and featured letter, and color the borders. As an additional fine motor challenge, the child might enjoy using loose parts such as beads to decorate the playdough.
Please note that there are a couple of different methods children can use playdough to make the shapes and letters – by pinching off small pieces and applying them on the mats or by rolling sausage-like parts and arranging them on the surface. My advice would be – to let the child decide how they wish to handle their work and exercise their problem-solving abilities.