I love these bug themed playdough activities. It’s so easy to make your own playdough from just a few store cupboard ingredients, and it’s so versatile there are a million and one things you can do with it! Using playdough helps to develop fine motor skills and build up the muscles in their hands and arms that children will need for writing, so it’s a great material to use whenever you can.
You can use it on its own or with added tools and playdough mats. To download the ones I’ve used for the bug themed playdough activities pop your email in here and I’ll get them straight over to you!
My playdough recipe is very slap dash and it doesn’t make ‘the best ever playdough the world has ever seen’ so if that’s what you’re looking for then you might need to keep on searching, but I’m sure pinterest will serve you well. Our playdough tends to end up with all the colours mixed together and scattered all over the floor by the end of the first day, so I don’t spend too long making it or worry to much about it. I basically just chuck things in until it looks ok, but this is usually a good starting point…
1 cup of salt
2 cups of flour
1 cup of warm water
little bit of vegetable oil
no cream of tartar because who has that in their cupboard these days?
Then I just add more flour until it isn’t too sticky. You can keep it in a plastic box or bag for a week or so (if it lasts that long before it gets trodden into the carpet) and if it gets a bit sticky again then just add more flour and give it a knead.
If you watched our vlog from a couple of weeks ago you would have seen us making up a batch of playdough (and a lot of mess), and this week we have been using it a lot in different bug themed playdough activities to continue our ‘insects’ theme. I made a few printable worksheets for a couple of the activities, so I’ve popped them at the end of the post in case it helps anyone out.
So here’s four bug themed playdough activities…
Design your own bug
For this one I just added pipe cleaners and googly eyes and let their imagination go wild. Mabel and Greta both had a lot of fun deciding what colours to use and how many eyes, legs, wings and antennae to give their bugs.
Bugs Playdough Mats
I made some very simple playdough mats with a bug theme. There was a butterfly to give some wings to, a spider missing his 8 legs, and a snail in need of a shell. Mabel liked these more than Greta (watch last week’s vlog to see what I mean) but they are a good starting point anyway for a playdough activity and a fun way to start thinking about size and shape and design.
I was actually quite proud of myself with this one. I wanted the girls to practise their counting and this is a great practical and tactile way of doing it and it has the double whammy of helping their fine motor skills at the same time. I made caterpillar faces with a number next to them and the girls had to make the same number of balls out of playdough to make up the caterpillar’s body. I have Greta numbers 1-5 and Mabel 11-15 because I am trying to encourage her to count higher than 10 at the moment. I’ve popped the whole set of 1-20 in the free printable at the end of this post.
Playdough Life Cycle of a Butterfly
At this point we were still waiting for our caterpillars to turn into chrysalides, but we talked a lot about what would happen to the caterpillars/butterflies at each stage of their life and then I challenged Mabel to make each stage out of playdough and put them in the right order. I think she did a great job of making an egg on a leaf, a caterpillar, a chrysalis and a butterfly!
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