Monday, October 17, 2011


Anyone else going through tons of play-doh? It has to be the best invention to keep 5 year olds occupied! My students loved it when I made them magic play-doh at the beginning of the year- it's just homemade play-doh with a dot of food coloring hidden in the middle so that when they start rolling it around in their hands it "magically" changes colors. I haven't cooked up any homemade play-doh since the first week of school, but I did just see a recipe for pumpkin pie play-doh on Pinterest last night. I bet it smells delicious-I only hesitate to make it because with the class I have this year-surely some of them would try to eat it!

My students love our play-doh literacy station. At the beginning of the year they rolled out long skinny "play-doh snakes" and shaped them into alphabet letters. Now that we are further along in the school year, it is all about play-doh stamping. I wrote a grant for Lakeshore's wonderful play-doh letter stampers a few years ago, and they have been wonderful! My students love stamping our sight words. Lately they have been using the play-doh word work pack from Leslie at Kindergarten Works. They are practicing stamping the missing letter and also stamping sight words (there are also CVC picture cards and word family stamping mats too that I'll let them use later in the year).

Luckily I had a parent generously donate many cans of play-doh last year, so we haven't run out yet. However, I just found a great use for our empty play-doh cans. Play-doh cans make a great storage container for small game pieces. For example, in my alphabet station this week students are playing Mrs. Wills' Fall ABC Matching Game and all the little game cards fit perfectly into the play-doh can!

Now bigger game cards definitely won't fit, but anything small-like small math manipulatives or letter tiles fit easily. Mrs. Wills recommends using a frosting jar for many of her math station game cards-so that would be a good option if you need storage for bigger cards or game pieces (but I am trying to stay away from the frosting-so I don't have any of those jars to recycle!!). You could even make cute little labels to stick on your play-doh cans to match the materials you are storing inside of them-no time for that this week though as I must finish my report cards!


  1. Ha - I love that some of them would try to eat it! What a year you must be having :) Thanks for sharing. So glad your kinders are loving the word work pack. Great ideas for the playdough tubs as card holders! I've enlisted one parent a month to make homemade playdough to keep the kneading alive in our room.
    - Leslie

  2. That is so funny, I pulled out empty play-doh cans and used them for the exact same thing last week! Great minds think a like:) We love play-doh too!!
    What I Learned in Kindergarten

  3. I am not allowed to use play dough in my classroom because I was told it "wasn't challenging enough for my students" does anyone have any suggestions for ways I could incorporate play dough in a "challenging way" to make my administration happy and still give my students the fine motor development that they need?

  4. There are lots of way to use playdough. I have my students roll long playdoh "snakes" and then shape them into letters and numbers which is great practice. I also have them stamp sight words into the playdough-you can use any stamps not just special playdoh stampers. Or how about using alphabet cookie cutters to have kids cut letters out of playdoh to make sight words. They could even use playdoh to illustrate addition and subtraction problems. Playdoh is also great when they are learning the letters in their name-have them practice making their name out of playdoh for morning work!