Play dough is one of our go-to activities for little learners of all ages. Not only is it a really exciting sensory activity, it’s also a fantastic way to develop fine motor skills and strengthen the muscles in our fingers.
This week I’d like to share one of my absolute favourite play dough activities which is always a huge hit whenever we set it up. It’s our favourite play dough cupcake invitation!
We looove making a fresh batch of play dough together. Not only is it a wonderful bonding experience, but it’s a great way to develop some early measurement understandings as we measure out the ingredients and mix them together. Below you’ll see my favourite non-cook play dough recipe which we have laminated on our fridge ready for play dough making time!
When I made the play dough for our cupcake invitation, I added some pink food dye to the water before I mixed it in. Once it had cooled down, I added it to a sectioned dip platter which I got from Spotlight but you can get them at your local dollar shop too. I added some silicone cupcake trays, a metal cupcake tin, some candles, beads and sequins.
I placed all of the materials into the platter and invited Lilly (who was about 2 years old at the time) to create her very own play dough cupcakes with the materials!
While creating her play dough cupcakes, I was able to explore some early numeracy concepts by counting the candles with her as she placed them into the play dough cupcakes. You could also do some counting on and early addition work – “How many candles do you have on the cake? Let’s add two more? How many do you have altogether?
We were also able to develop her fine motor skills and her pincer grip as she very carefully picked up each of the beads and placed them onto her play dough cupcakes.
You might even like to add a dice to the activity tray and encourage your little learner to roll the dice and add that many candles to their cupcakes. This would be a great way to begin developing the skill of subitising which is knowing how many without counting to check.
As you can see, this simple play dough invitation can develop so many different early learning skills all through play!