What is soft and colorful and can squish through your fingers? The answer is play dough. The invention of play dough dates back to the 1930s. Originally it was invented to be wallpaper cleaner.
However, after a classroom of children began using it as a modeling compound, it was reformulated and introduced to the Cincinnati schools in the mid-1950s as play dough. Today play dough can be found in almost every preschool and kindergarten classroom. Bringing play dough into a learning center offers a variety of educational opportunities.
It is a great, inexpensive educational tool that can be used to foster creativity, literacy, and math skills. And most importantly of all, kids love play dough. There is something magical about rolling, patting, and squishing the brightly colored dough with your fingers. For this activity, we used play dough to create our very own ants!
To begin with, we talked about what an insect is. Students learned that one thing that makes insects different from other bugs, is the number of legs they have. They were told that ants, like other insects, have six legs. Your little one also learned about what an antenna is. Within the ant colony, these antenna are used to communicate. Following a brief discussion, students created their own ants with play dough, black pipe cleaners, and googly eyes!