Invitation to Build a Turkey

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and my little turkeys are super excited! I set up a simple invitation to build a turkey to keep them engaged this weekend while I got caught up on some much needed preparation for the upcoming holiday. The Provocation I used homemade Playdough that we made a few months ago and […]

Toddler Tales ~ A Dinosaur Provocation

My little one is really into dinosaurs. I attribute this to his older brother’s obsession spilling over onto him, nonetheless, we play with dinosaurs A LOT in my house. One day I decided to put a little dinosaur provocation on the light table and see what he would do with it. I simply placed a […]

Toddler Tales: Outdoor Clay Play

Now that I’m not in the classroom, I get to spend a lot of time doing fun activities with my kiddos. I have a 20 month old and a 6 year old who still love doing fun activities with me so I try to take advantage of it every chance we get. I thought it […]

Picasso’s Playdough

Guess what?!!  I am a contributing blogger to mom.me.   I am loving the opportunity to share my ideas with parents.  My latest post is my Picasso’s Playdough Project.   I took loose parts, playdough and inspiration from Picasso’s abstract portraits.  The level of engagement and conversation with this project was amazing. Click HERE for more details!

The “Three Little Pigs” Playdough

This is a super fun playdough center – perfect during the fairy tale, The Three Little Pigs.   I make a big batch of brown playdough and put out the three materials the three pigs used to build their houses.  I let the children know that they can build a house for their “pig” any way […]

Zen Playdough. . .

Begin with plain playdough.  No color, no scent.  Just plain old simple playdough. I set out little bowls of old grains and spices.  Flax seeds, chia seeds, basil leaf, a flower tea. . . . All set out with a zen like peacefulness.  Sniff.  Pick.  Mix. I added a mortar and pestle for pressing and […]

The Making of a Clay Fairy House

 One day, while a few children were exploring clay, the notion of building house emerged.  Several children pulled out some of the log blocks.  Pieces of clay were placed in the log “forest” as one child called it.  The piece with the hole in this photo was created for “lady bugs to crawl through.”  Another […]

Reggio Inspired: Clay Play

The following photos are from two classrooms at Rosa Parks Preschool, Mrs. Winters and Mrs. Terry. A huge thank you to the teachers!! It begins with one slice of clay. A blank canvas receptive to endless explorations . . . Squishing and pulling pieces off. Using a tool to make markings and indentations. Exploring the […]

Porridge Playdough for Baby Bear!

It took several years to master this playdough.  The traditional recipes for oatmeal playdough are sticky and – honesty – a mess to deal with.   I adapted my basic playdough recipe and have created a perfect porridge playdough!  This dough has a hint of vanilla and cinnamon and is sure to give hours of wonderful […]

Birds, Eggs and Nests: Playdough Fun

I love to use playdough as a medium for children to express what we are studying.  During our unit on birds – I put out three batches of playdough: brown for nests and limbs, blue for eggs and yellow for birds.   It was so popular!  The rule was “No mixing the playdoughs!”  And they did […]

Valentine’s Playdough!

Chocolate Playdough! I first found this idea at Counting Coconuts and loved it! Instructions here:  Heidi’s Recipes Adding the empty chocolate candy box is key! Valentine’s Bakery Playdough This is such a fun idea!  I adore the sprinkles – such a creative idea! The kinders in my class would love that so much! For instructions: […]

Bread Dough Gingerbread

Sometimes I will adapt the traditional bread dough ornament recipe by adding brown food dye (Wilton brand makes it nice and dark.)  This gives the dough a “gingerbread look” for making gingerbread men and more. I feel it is important to bring a direct experience from the fairy tales and stories we read.  Making cookies […]

Playdough Bakery is Open!

 During the Little Red Hen unit – I add a wonderful selection of pans, bowls, buckets, muffin tins, plates. . . even a cheese slicer.  The boys love that slicer!  Wooden spoons, pizza slicers. . .  Several colors of playdough. . .  Ooo, how the fun abounds!  I need another cheese slicer!  The girls adore […]

The Little Red Hen: Making Pretend Bread

Good old fashioned bread dough clay is the best treat for the children during our Little Red Hen unit. Basic Bread Dough Ornament Recipe 4 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup salt 1 1/2 cups warm water I make my dough in my Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook.  I mix it until it is […]

Clay Work: Owls

This is such a sweet clay project designed by Aubree Hayden, who worked with me at Philbrook during summer camp.  The children loved it!  I am so sad I did not get a final photo of the project.  But you can see the easy peasy way to make it in the video below:

Clay Work: Knee Turtles

This is one of those tried and true clay projects for early childhood.  It is very simple.  You give the student a ball of clay and a paper towel.  The student puts the paper towel over their knee and then pats the clay on top of their knee to create a “shell.”  So easy and […]

Guest Blogger: Running With Glitter!

I’m Kelly, I have a fun little blog called Running With Glitter.    My daughter is the luckiest Kindergartner this year.  She has Mrs. Haughey as a teacher. I’m so excited!  If could magically make up the perfect teacher she would be it!   Today I’m going to share with you a simple Play Dough Recipe.  […]

Making Clay Birds with Children

This summer, at the art museum, I had the children make clay birds.  The birds turned out so cute!  I failed to get photos of the finished birds.  I only have this photo – of a bird left behind by one child. INSTRUCTIONS:  The children will be making five basic shapes: an egg shape for […]

Galaxy Playdough

What you will need: 2 cups of plain flour 2 cups of water with black and blue food coloring 1 Tbsp. of cooking oil 1 Tbsp. cream of tartar 1 cup of salt INSTRUCTIONS: Mix liquid ingredients in a large pan. (FYI: I found black food coloring in a large size at Big Lots – […]

Farmer’s Market

With the study of plants and flowers – it only made sense to open a farmer’s market in the classroom.  The first thing we did was discuss and brainstorm what was found at a farmer’s market.  We then decided what we would make. The children made green beans, peas, tomatoes, and cherries. STEP ONE:  We […]

Model Magic Insects!

This is one of those all time favorite projects of the children.   Each child designs their own insect using model magic.  I buy it at Michael’s with a 40 percent off coupon.   I give each child a bit of each of the four colors.   A box like the one in the photo will supply a […]

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 […]

Developmental Stages of Playdough

Playdough is an important facet of the early childhood environment.   Playdough exploration provides important opportunities for the development of fine motor skills (such as pushing, squishing, squeezing, and pinching).   And, as many early childhood teachers know, it provides an excellent outlet for releasing tension and stress.  It is calming to children! The Discovery Stage: Ages […]

The Queen of Heart’s Tarts

The Queen of Hearts she made some tarts all on a winter’s day; The Knave of Hearts he stole the tarts and took them clean away. The King of Hearts called for the tarts and scolded the Knave full sore. The Knave of Hearts brought back the tarts and vowed he’d steal no more. Transform […]

Make Lucky Chinese Playdough!

2 cups of flour 2 cups of colored water (I used Wilton “Red Red” Food dye – is bright red!) 1 Tbsp. of cooking oil 2 Tbsp. cream of tartar 1 cup of salt Directions: Place all of the ingredients in a medium size pan. Cook on medium heat and stir it until the playdough […]

Sparkling Snow Playdough

This is a simple adaptation of the basic playdough recipe.   Sparkling Snow Playdough Recipe: Stir together in large pan: 2 cups of flour 1 cup of salt 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar 2 tablespoons of oil 2 cups of water Cook over medium to medium-high heat.  Cook until it sticks together (about 3 […]

The Bakery is Open!

During the Gingerbread Man unit, we open a bakery where the children buy and sell bake goods they have made.  I use an old recipe from my childhood that my mother used to make bread dough ornaments.  It is really like a clay.  It is great fun and the children feel such ownership of the […]

Gingerbread Playdough

Gingerbread Play-Dough This is my favorite recipe for gingerbread play-dough.  It smells wonderful and provides the perfect play during our Gingerbread Boy unit. 1 cup flour 1/2 cup salt 1 Tb. cream of tartar 1 cup water 1 tsp. vegetable oil Spices–Cinnamon, Allspice, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cloves Use Green and Red food coloring to make the […]

Pinch Pots at Philbrook

Today my class had the delight of a field trip to Philbrook Art Museum.  We viewed Native American art and pottery and then went to a studio where we created Model Magic pinch pots.  This is such a simple way to introduce making a pinch pot if you do not have access to a kiln […]