Summer is nearly upon us! That is always so refreshing to say! Hot days are just around the corner. In fact, in comparison to where we lived overseas, it is already too hot for me… Even though I love the hot days of summer, sometimes it just gets too hot to even go outside. That’s when the great ideas that have been shared during the A-z of Rainy Days will definitely come in handy. Whether it’s raining or just too hot, these ideas are perfect for keeping kids busy! For the letter “P”, I’m going to share our summer play dough party with you! Play dough is so easy to prepare, it’s the perfect solution to “I’m bored.”
Materials needed for a Summer Play Dough Party:
Appetizer tray (I get ours from the local dollar store)
Blue play dough (I used the same play dough from our Anna play dough set)
Red, white and blue pony beads
Patriotic cupcake toppers
Patriotic cupcake liners
Play dough scissors
Some other suggestions are sequins, pipe cleaners, and paper straws. Just let your imagination run wild.
I store our craft supplies by type and color, so even though the red doilies were from Valentine’s Day they were in the drawer right along with my red bells and pom poms. Never underestimate the ability to use a craft supply for more than one season or holiday.
I will confess. I think I have just as much fun preparing our play dough trays as the kids do playing with them… I always try to prep them while the kids are away from our craft supplies, otherwise, they will be playing with them before I have a chance to finish putting them together. And that kinda makes me sad.
I store multiple play dough trays on our shelves at one time, giving the kids control over what activity they want to use. Currently we have 3 trays prepared. The carrot play dough from last week and a flower set.
Our only rule is to not mix the play dough in a way that it can’t be recovered.
In reality, that probably doesn’t need to be a rule since play dough is so cheap to make, I’m sure it had it’s purpose back when I created the rule…lol!
When we are using a tray like this, it is solely for play. We also often use play dough for learning, but I don’t want the kids to start refusing play dough activities because they think of them as “work”. A good balance of play and focused learning is important.
But the first conversation that my kids had with this play dough was about fractions. Totally child-led. They were deciding how much ‘cake’ they should each get. And my 5th grader explained to my 1st grader that 1/4 and 2/8 is the same amount of cake. That seemed like a good explanation to Jaida who was very proud that she knew what 1/4 was!
Then, my preschool decided to demonstrate her pretend-play skills and pretended to eat a piece of the cake complete with “chewing” noises.
All in all, it was a wonderful summer play dough party! Perfect for a hot day!
Planning for a Summer Theme? We’ve done all the work for you!
We now have interactive thematic lesson plans for toddlers (18-35 months) AND preschoolers (3-5 years)! Get ready for fun and learning with unit lesson plans for your SUMMER THEME. Explore a variety of themed hands-on activities! Easy to follow lesson plans include activity modifications and adaptations to meet the needs of all learners. For more information, click on the graphics below: