Make Playdough Dirt!

This is a oldie but goodie!  And it was a huge hit in the classroom today with my six year old boys!   Despite many blogs featuring this – I decided to post it because of the importance of playdough in the kindergarten classroom.  It is not just for preschoolers.

Learning To Write!
Classroom experiences like playdough are more than just play – they provide crucial fine and large motor exercise.   This is so important in the process of learning to write.  Many of our students are having fine motor issues in handwriting.  Playdough and other early childhood manipulatives powerfully engage the finger grasps that are necessary and vital to the process of growing.  As one textbook on hand grasps said, “. . the more diverse skills the child already has acquired, the easier it will be to learn new ones, such as handwriting.”  Bring on the playdough!

I loved how this group of boys collaborated on the creation of flowers in buckets.
There was no fighting over who would do what – just joyful creation.  Teacher moment!
Found the cute little buckets at Target for a dollar.

Dirt Playdough
2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar
food coloring (I used Wilton food coloring – brown)

Place all of the ingredients in a medium size pan.  (I add the food coloring into the water)  Cook on medium heat and stir it until the playdough thickens.  Knead the dough until smooth.   (I was talking with family and added too much flour to my playdough – overcooked it – and it still was great for dirt!  Crumbly?  No prob!)

“Mrs. Haughey!  Take a picture of this!”

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  1. Sarah says:

    I LOVE everything on your blog! I am a K teacher trying to move more towards the Reggio/Waldorf approaches and have found tons of ideas on your site that I am going to implement right away. I’d be really interested in hearing how your whole Kinder day flows- what your schedule looks like.

    Have you read “Castle in the Classroom”? I have just ordered it, and from the summary it looks like an approach that would completely mesh with your teaching style.

  2. Sarah,
    No! I do not know this book – I am going to go look it up immediately! I will post my schedule soon – great idea. It changes as I progress through the year and their interests and abilities progress. Thank you for commenting!


    • Marianela Rodousakis says:

      Hi Sarah, I would love to also take a peek into your daily schedule too. If you have posted it on this site, where can I find it? Thanks in Advance.

  3. Sara Zakar says:

    I love your blog. I am new to blogging and would love for you to take a peek at my blog. I hope you can then add me to your blog role.. Thanks so much
    Sara Zakar

  4. Sara –
    Nice blog! I have heard a lot about the Daily Five – you have renewed my interest! Added you to the blog roll. I love, love, love blogging and I know you will find it very fulfilling as well. Good luck and I will keep checking back to see what you have going on in the classroom!

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