If you follow us on Twitter or Facebook you may have heard we are prepping to sell our house, this is possibly the least fun adventure I have ever had and I once ended up in Belgium by accident at 5am… long story. I have to keep the house spic and span while we are selling so get ready for some low on mess but high on fun activities like these play dough bugs . If you want to make your own play dough we have recipes even a gluten free play dough recipe!
- Gather your materials. You will need some play dough in a few colors, some large googley eyes, pipe cleaners, straws and other things you might have on hand like tooth pics, popscicle sticks, buttons… no rules ! Also to protect my table I use an old cutting board as the work space.
- Sometimes kids need a guide when they are given a buffet to create with , sometimes they don’t. So I sat down and made this bug as an example of what he could use the materials to make not what he should make , explaining that there was no wrong way to create.
- Start creating!
- Hard at work
- A trio of bugs!
Get outside and turn over rocks to find creepy crawly bugs. On our bug hunt we kept count to add some math to our outside learning.
A Few Favorite Books About Bugs
Ace Lacewing: Bug Detectiveby David Bierdrzycki is such a fun read, I started it thinking it would go over my son’s head but he sat listening the whole time. The mystery begins with a missing Queen bee and will have you guessing who is behind her disappearance as Ace tries to solve it. There was a lot of humor that was lost on my then 2 year old but the fun Dick Tracy like illustrations kept him happy while I snickered at the jokes he missed. Very fun read for kids that aren’t yet ready for a chapter book but outgrowing pictures ones.
Bob and Otto by Robert O. Bruel is a lovely story about 2 friends who must part ways , in this case because one is a caterpillar who needs to build a chrysalis and the other an earth worm who needs to dig deep into the ground. What I like about this book is that it goes on to explain that the earth worm’s digging is vital for the trees to grow so that the caterpillar can eat the leaves and turn into a butterfly. I like the lesson about how we all play a part!
The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle is another favorite the story is all about a little cricket who is trying and trying to chirp like the others to talk to all the bugs talking to him but he can’t! Whenever I read it to children ( and it was a classroom favorite too) I would wiggle my shoulders like I was trying to rub my wings together just like the cricket. Kids latched on to that and I loved seeing them so engaged by the repetitive but never boring book. I thought seeing 12 little 3 year olds wiggling was precious but one little 3 year old is pretty cute doing it too! Of course there is a “surprise” at the end that toddlers and preschoolers alike will love.
We live so far south that we very rarely get to experience actual snow. When we do get snow, it’s often not enough to make a snow man. Even so, there are lots of holiday songs and stories about snowmen, so I thought I’d show my son how snowmen are made with a little play doh.
I used black and white play doh for this activity.
I went ahead and rolled all of the pieces in advance. My son has a lot of sensory issues, so he’s not a big fan of play doh. I still run him through the motion of rolling the big pieces, but if he had to do it all himself, we’d have a meltdown before we finished.
So, we took each white ball, rolled it once or twice in his palm, and then stacked them. He was extremely resistant to the play doh with his left hand, so we switched it up and used his right–much better!
We then took the smaller black balls and helped him use his pointer finger to press them into the snowman creating eyes, a nose, and some buttons. We’ve worked on using pointer finger before, so this is a good way to reinforce that skill. Overall, using one finger was much better than using his whole hand.
When you’re finished, you have a snowman guaranteed not to melt.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Katy is a mom of one who loves art, mystery novels, and anything involving peanut butter–she blogs about raising her little miracle at Bird on the Street.
We love play-dough and if you have made homemade playdough before you probably know that there is flour in it, usually wheat flour which isn’t an issue for most kids but for children who suffer from celiac’s , gluten intolerance or wheat allergies it can turn playtime into not much fun. I searched the web for a recipe a few years back and couldn’t find a thing. Then when I saw Bisquick came out with a gluten free product I bought some to try with my Bisquick playdough recipe.
Here is how I adjusted it for the gluten free product.
1 cups gluten free Bisquick
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
1/2 TBSP alum
1 TBSP oil
Knead. I let mine cool a while ( it gets HOT) and then my son helps knead.
Of course the sprinkles color ran and now we have brown dough but it’s still probably my favorite dough as far as texture goes! I will definitely be making this recipe again.
Play-Dough is such a versatile material. It can teach anything from shapes ( using different cookie cutters), fine motor skills ( great place to introduce scissors), pretend play , measurement while making play-dough and more. Here are some of our favorite play-dough activities we’ve done over the years.
Scented Play-Dough ( pictured above)
Need an easy well tested recipe for homemade play-dough?
Red, Blue and White play dough: we used our favorite play dough recipe. We also added glitter to the white after they played with it the first time. The recipe is super simple: 1 cup water, 1 cup salt, 1 cup flour, 2 TBSP oil and coloring( for this i used sugar free jello! smells so yummy! but you can use food paste or coloring, kool aid or paint.) stir all the ingredients till smooth,cook on med heat till it pulls away from the
pan, cool for a bit, knead still smooth and play!
Shannon blogs at Welcome To Our Wonderland where she share’s books and sometimes activities to go with the children’s books. She taught prek for 11 years and become a stay at home mom 10 years ago when her oldest was born.