My daughter adores playdough and cooking so last week we made some simple white playdough and added snowflakes ( that promptly melted of course – duh! Add after it cools…) and then had fun playing pretend with some forest animals. This is about as simple as it gets but there are so many wonderful lesson possibilities packed in this simple play.
First we made the playdough. The recipe we used is my favorite .
Something I do with my daughter ( or the toddlers I taught when my own kids were only imaginary) is to play Simon Says before doing someting where I may have to say ” Don’t touch!” a lot. Instead of turning this activity into a negative one when I need her to not touch I simply say ” Simon says touch your nose!” As it turned out I didn’t even have to use this but we still had fun with our pre playdough making game.
She helped me mix the dry ingredients, I kneaded the dough while it was too hot for her to touch and gave her some extra flour to explore on the counter. I slipped in some glitter too.
This playdough is best after it’s chilled so we made it before nap time. Then after nap time it was ready to be played with.
I love these animal toys. They leave real footprints. We sat across the playroom table from each other and just started making prints. We looked at them, at which were bigger than the others and how many we could make from one side of the playdough to the other. Soon a storyline emerged the raccoon was saving the other animals from a “Snow bump” <– which is 2 year old speak for a snow bank. It was hilarious to watch her narrate a whole complex story line including some negotiation during the various rescues.
At this time of year with so much sparkle and wow and rush it’s a blessing to sit and be and take things slow and easy with a toddler . We’ve played this exact activity over and over and each time felt calm and connected after. Something I know most all of us can use right now.This post contains an affiliate link.
Mom and Kiddo @What Do We Do All Day?` says
I can’t resist telling you that the PERFECT book for this activity is “Tracks in the Snow” by Wong Herbert Yee!
Thank you! I was going to attach some books but I was so exhausted ( I am sick) that I skipped it. Thank you so much for the suggestion!
Love this activity!!! Another great book to go along with this is In the Snow: Who’s Been Here? by Lindsay Barrett George.
We have zillions (okay, maybe not quite that many…but a lot) of Schleich animal figurines…how come I never knew they make realistic footprints? And look at your baby–what a big girl she is, now!
I know – she is so big and funny. I think I should do a video soon of her chatter while playing. Although she picked up a few less than desirable words so maybe still photographs are the way to go 🙂
This is such a unique activity! What a great way to build on their imagination and pretend to play with snow.
Sarah @ Frugal Fun for Boys says
I love the footprints idea, and the playdough looks great! I’ve been gathering some winter/snow ideas to do with my boys. We live in Texas, where today it is a super wintry 49 degrees! (It’s been in the 70’s most of this December!)
Oh that is really sweet. She looks like she really enjoyed it too
Thank you! This just provided 45 straight minutes of quiet entertainment for my recovering 3 1/2 year old.
Deb @ Living Montessori Now says
This is fabulous, Allison! I love the idea of making footprints with playdough, and it’s awesome that your daughter was so involved in the process of making the playdough! I featured your photo and post in my Montessori-Inspired Winter Playdough Activities at http://livingmontessorinow.com/2013/01/14/montessori-monday-montessori-inspired-winter-playdough-activities/
She looks like she is having a great time! I just found your blog and am going to forward it to all my friends who have kids…so many ideas here!
Allison McDonald says
Thanks so much Kate!