Children love playdough. Not only is it hands-on learning and good for fine motor skills but it teaches them that anything is possible. This particular game teaches children to incorporate what they have seen and observed into their creative play.
What you need:
- A large lump of play dough
Number of players:
Ask your child what his favourite animal is and then get him to make that animal out of the playdough.
Ask questions and make lots of positive comments as he works: children love feedback! This is a simple tool for developing your child's thinking as he observes and recalls the specifics of his environment and applies what he knows to creative play, for example, how many legs does a dog have? Does he have floppy ears or pointy ears? etc.
- Use your child's favourite animal picture books for inspiration.
- For a more complex game, you can create an entire menagerie of farm animals out of playdough. Ask your child what animals are found on a farm (don't correct if he says, 'aardvark' just go with it – who says there isn't a farm out there somewhere with an aardvark on it?) You could each create different animals and fill the farm together.
- For young children this can be a great forum for doing some animal sounds. Making animal noises is fantastic for speech development as it involves mimicking sounds.
- Creating your own zoo could also be a great idea. Get out some picture books with animals in them for inspiration and go for it.