As part of simple, tactile play – play dough can be squashed, squeezed, rolled, flattened, chopped, cut, scored, raked, punctured, poked and shredded!
Each one of these different actions aids fine motor development in a different way, not to mention hand-eye coordination and general concentration. It is for these reasons that I use play dough so often, and for some many different learning experiences. Many young children are tactile learners and require the sense of touch to interact with the world around them.
Because we are learning about all things related to numbers, I combined play dough, a number mat, and our thinking minds to learn more about counting! There were two components of this activity. Students first traced the number fifteen (on the number mat) with their fingers. They then clapped and chanted the number.
Lastly, they pinched off fifteen small pieces of play dough and placed them on fifteen spots. Allowing so many opportunities for learning (clapping, chanting, listening, and speaking) enables all learners to connect with the material, and ensures their success. When children feel successful, they are more motivated to learn.