Sunday, June 3, 2018

Open Ended Play Dough Tools

The play dough table is often one of the most-used spaces in the classroom.  I switch up the color and smell of the dough every couple of weeks.  Depending on how much use it's getting it can sometimes last a bit longer, but usually it's getting a bit crumbly by day 10.

There are SO many things you can do with play dough.  If you have nothing to add to it, kids love pinching, pulling and poking the dough.  Rolling and stacking and smooshing are also popular!  Over the years I collected as many gadgets and gizmos as I could find.  I avoided cookie cutters as much as possible since they aren't exactly open-ended, though I found simple shapes like stars and circles could really add to the imaginative side of playing with dough.


(A tray that encourages the children to sort items by type as they put things away is a great way to sneak math into your day!)

 Hardware stores are your best friend when it comes to play dough tools!  That's a caster cup pictured above, and it pokes a million tiny holes into the dough.  Peeling it off is so fun, and if dough gets stuck in between those pokey parts, oh the joy of digging it out!

 Simple little cups with snap on lids (I found mine at the dollar store) are so fun for the kids to fill with tiny pieces they've cut or pinched off a big lump.  They love to stack them, fill them, take the lids on and off...

 Mini PVC pipes!  YES!!!


I always liked to have something to cut with at the play dough table, whether it was plastic scissors or knives.  These (Discount School Supply, of course) plastic scissors are great because you don't have to have a teacher hovering at the table--these can go out even at the start of the school year with 2 or 3 year olds.

What do you like to put at your play dough table?  Have you thought about the open-ended qualities of your tools?  Do you have  a favorite scent or color of dough?  Leave your comments below!

Want more fun tidbits for teachers, librarians, parents, nannies and more?  

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