Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Guest Post from Grade School Giggles: Hands on Academics with Play-dough


Play-dough can take any number of academic lessons from ordinary to extraordinary and it only takes a few minutes to make inexpensive dough. Just combine 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 cup water, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1/3 cup of salt, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and food coloring in a pot over low heat. Stir for a few minutes until it makes a clump around your spoon. Store it in a sealed container when you're not using it.

Once you've made your dough you are ready to start using it in your lessons. Here are some ideas to get you started.


Spelling- Make letter mats and let the students build them. You could even do the same with cursive letters for older students. It would be a good early finisher activity. Older students can also roll the dough out and use stamps or toothpicks to spell their words or write examples of compound words or contractions.


Math- Make number mats and let the students build them. Have them use the play-dough to model basic addition or subtraction problems. Students can use play-dough to act out word problems. When studying measurement, play-dough can be used to create ropes in different lengths. It's also great for building 2 and 3D shapes.


Science- Younger students can explore color mixing. Older students can use play-dough to build a model of the Earth, make land forms, or build models of animals, plants, or cells.


Social Studies- Play-dough can be used to model using an assembly line and making goods as part of an economics unit. It could also be used to outline continents, states, countries, or rivers on a map. Older students could even use it to create a topographical map.

Have you used play-dough in your room before? How do you use it? Do you have any new ideas?

Please stop by Grade School Giggles and check out more of my classroom ideas. Thanks!



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