Thursday, December 9, 2010

Notable play-dough tools

Playdough is one of my favorite materials for toddlers and preschoolers to work with. It has so many benefits, which I've discussed before. I typically try to use objects we already have around the house for our educational experiences, but I do occasionally purchase some specific items. One is miniture cookie cutter sets. For toddlers it's difficult for them to get enough play dough smashed down flat to press the large cutters into. Smaller ones fit perfectly into their hands and then can flatten an appropriate area. I found this Christmas set at Ross for $3.49 yesterday and it has 10 pieces! Yeaaaa! I also love the textured rollers. Using rolling pins is great exercise for wrist control that is so essential for writing. Love having a variety of textures available for rolling--and the different textures mean that a different amount of pressure is necessary to move the pin, as well, which teaches the child to accomodate as the use their wrist muscles. I bought a 4-pack at Mardel (Hobby Lobby and Lakeshore also have these), and the pins in this set were actually a little smaller than the ones I've had in my classrooms, which I like for little toddler hands. The 4-pack was $10 (and I didn't remember my coupon or it'd have been cheaper...) and I am using 2 out of the pack for Christmas gifts....
I also include a small plastic knife for cutting and slicing and a small metal spatula for scooping.

2 other tools I really love (that we don't yet have) are playdough scissors (really any scissors could work) and wooden/plastic pizza cutters.
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