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Summer is here which means warmer weather and exciting outdoor activities like barbecues and camping. But on those days that may be a little too hot, I love to have some engaging summer activities that are perfect for staying cool indoors. And what would be better than a fun 4th of July Play Dough Kit to kick off July?
*Pair with our Summer Centers and Activities for Pre-K & Kindergarten!
4th of July Play Dough Kit
While this play dough kit has an obvious U.S.A. theme to grown-ups, children are more likely to see other potentials in the materials and will bring their own creative interpretation to them. This could easily be a Snow White kit, a county fair kit, a pie-making kit, or even a Cat in the Hat kit. The possibilities are endless!
To get started, first gather your materials:
- One batch natural play dough
- One batch blue play dough
- Red play dough (2 cans)
- Red, white, and blue gems
- Star cookie cutters
- American Flag toothpicks
- Clear glass stones with letters written on them (kind of a DIY Moveable Alphabet)
Use what you can find and look at what I included as inspiration!
I used commercial red play dough for this kit because I just could not get that pure red color. Every red play dough recipe I tried turned into another variation of pink – some darker than others, but not the true red I was looking for.
Time to Play!
My daughter got to play with this kit before I showed it to my daycare children, and the first thing she wanted to do was build a flag!
She used her creative problem-solving skills to manipulate the play dough and slowly build her flag, using one of the toothpick flags as a guide.
Pushing the gems into the dough is a great fine motor strength builder, and it isolates the fingers as well.
RELATED RESOURCE: Write It! Summer Writing Center Activities
The cookie cutters are also great for building fine motor strength and encouraging children to be careful and precise in their work.
Here are some of the ways the kids at my daycare played:
- Patterning: with the gems, the stars cut from the cookie cutters, etc.
- Building star towers
- Spelling words with the letters
- Rolling the dough into different shapes with their hands
- Comparing the homemade dough and store-bought play dough (texture)
- Trying to build other flags (with a flag sticker book from the bookshelf)
- Playing bake shop (cherry and blueberry pies)
- Making bracelets by wrapping play dough around their wrists and adorning with gems
If you have access to a laminated map, having the children try to form the play dough into the boundaries would be a great way to learn about the different states and their relations to each other.
Every time we make one of these classroom play dough kits, I am blown away by how creative the kids are and how they are able to come up with ways to play with the kit that I wouldn’t have ever thought of!
What types of activities will you be doing to celebrate and teach about the 4th of July?
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