There are many aspects about my job that I love and one of the things I like best is that my classroom is a play-based classroom! My students learn important academic and life skills through play. In today's society, preschool programs that encourage play as a learning tool are often thought of as inferior to those programs that don't. The truth is that neither programs is superior or inferior to the other scientifically, both have good arguments for success. What it comes down to is which philosophy you believe in (you believe in one or the other whether you realize it or not.) I believe in PLAY! And the really best part of my job...I get paid to do it!! How awesome is that?! I get paid to play!
Now on to play-dough math fun! This often starts out with the child using cookie cutters to make cut outs. Most of my students also enjoy making "cookies" and they usually make quite a few. Leaving the opportunity reinforce counting skills. If they have have made different types of cookies, there is an excellent opportunity to encourage sorting skills (necessary for math) and even work on patterns. Sometimes I will throw in some early addition skills by asking how many of each cookie and then how many all together.
So in one fifteen minute sitting, my students and I have worked on literacy skills and math skills all the while having fun with play-dough! Its an easy and inexpensive way to make learning fun through play.
Lesson of the Day: Never underestimate the power of play! (or play-dough)
Kool-Aid Play-dough Recipe:
2 cups of flour
1 cup of salt
2tbs of cream of tartar
1tbs vegetable oil
1 cup of very hot water
1 packet of favorite Kool-Aid (if using Lemonade, have yellow food coloring on hand to enhance color)
*Mix dry ingredients (except Kool-Aid) in bowl. Add Kool-Aid to water and stir well. Then add oil to colored water. Stir until ball forms and all ingredients are absorbed. Lightly flour surface and then knead dough until its no longer sticky and all the flour is absorbed.