I don’t need to tell you how versatile play dough is. Most parents have experienced using it as a child and then let their children have the same chance to mold it and squeeze it through their fingers too. Have you taken play dough out in nature though?
I hadn’t thought about taking play dough outside until my youngest asked me to help her make a mushroom. Rather than making it at the table, we went into the bush (conveniently behind our house) and created many different items we could see in nature.
First, we looked around and made things we could already see, then we made things that we knew were in nature but we couldn’t see. It was nice to watch them make what they were connected to in the forest.
Tips to gain the most from playing with play dough in nature:
- Study nature before creating your items with play dough.
- Discuss the pieces from nature they replicate and where it fits in the forest.
- Talk about camouflage and why some things in nature camouflage and some don’t.
- Once your child has made a play dough nature piece, place it in a location where it would be found e.g. fungi on a tree trunk and mushrooms on the forest floor
- Make living and non living items you’d find in a forest.
- Press flat pieces of play dough on to bark to get rough textures on your play dough
- Don’t forget to make play dough animals too
Play dough items you can make from nature:
- seed pods
Don’t forget to take your play dough back with you. If left behind it can damage the surrounding plants due to the high salt content.
I hope I’ve inspired you to take your play dough outside today. It’s just another way to play and learn with that time-less molding material!