Thursday, September 29, 2011

Can you say Kool-Aid Playdough?

I used to make this with my preschoolers and they loved it not only becuase it was fun play dough but because the kool aid made it smell so good! 

Here's the recipe:

1 batch

1 cup cold water, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 2 packages of the same flavor kool-aid unsweetened flavored drink mix, 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup salt, 5 teaspoons cream of tartar.

1. In a pot combine water, oil, kool-aid and salt.
2. Heat and stir until salt dissolves.
3. Add flour and cream of tartar all at once to above.
4. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until well mixed and dough forms into a ball.
5. Remove from heat once the dough forms into a ball (this should only take a couple of minutes).
6. Cool on a clean baking sheet, kneading the dough as soon as it is cool enough.
7. Cool completely.  Play away!
8. It should last a couple of months depending on how often it's played with.

Mallory enjoyed helping with the recipe!



Jillian and Mallory had a great time playing with it!!



Did you know playing with playdough....

-Improves hand strength and dexterity which ultimately helps those hand muscles needed for early writing skills.  

-Is a great open ended activity- there's no right or wrong way (except maybe sticking it up your nose- that's probably a wrong way) :)

-Can help math skills by talking about the various shapes you can make.

-Is a great way to play scientist by asking your child questions like "How does the playdough feel.?" "What does it smell like.?", "What might happens when I put this ingredient in?"  
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Graphing Shapes

This is so simple and a huge hit with 3,4, and 5 year olds!! 

Materials needed- masking tape, household items shaped like a triangle, rectangle, square, and circle, paper and markers.

First make a circle, square, rectangle, and triangle sign ( I used 1 sheet of paper for each sign)
Gather household items shaped like a circle, triangle, square, and rectangle.

Place the masking tape on the floor in a graph like this:


I had Mallory pick out an item and then place it under the correct shape. 



She absolutely loved it!



The finished product!


After we were finished I had Mallory count each column and then I wrote the amount down on paper and placed it under the corresponding shape. We talked about which column had the MOST and which had the LEAST and the SAME.

In addition to shape identification this helps children count with understanding, make comparison of quantities, use comparitive words and it's a fun and easy way to introduce graphing!