Playdough is a staple play material in the early childhood classroom. It provides enjoyable and satisfying experiences for young children, but it is not merely a fun activity.
It provides valuable hands-on, active-learning experiences and supports children’s growth and learning in many domains.Through this medium early learning standards are addressed as children’s progress is observed in many areas of development.
The notion that play is a young child’s work”is widely accepted among researchers and educators in the early childhood field. Young children learn best through manipulation of materials in which they can see the effects they have on the world around them. Many of these experiences come through play.
Creative experiences with materials like playdough offer children many valuable learning opportunities. By combining a variety of materials, students are also forced to come up with unique uses for their items, targeting their ability to apply creativity and divergent thinking.
For this activity, we continued with our New Year’s theme, and combined beads, jewels, pipe cleaners, and playdough to create fireworks. We initiated the discussion with what fireworks were, and what times of year we may see them. We then talked a little about why we celebrate the new year, and the kinds of parties each child may go to throughout the year. Finally, each child engaged in open-ended play as they added each item to the playdough.