Bringing Books to Life, Creativity is Key, Little Ones Literacy, Small Worlds

Read and Sculpt

I recently discovered a brilliant combination – Play Dough and Books! My overall aim was to bring the stories to life for Paige and in the process create a story inspired small play area that Paige could enjoy after the story was over. This activity did exactly that!

Basically, we read the story and as we encountered new characters we made them with the play dough! Paige was so giddy to make the animals that I had to read the text once the animal was made!

All you need is:

  • Play dough.
  • Other embellishments (if you want) such as googly eyes and feathers.
  • A story to read.

The final result was….IMG_0469

Do I need to say how much she loved this!? Her little face says it all!

Once the story had finished I just let her enjoy playing with the play dough animals and she sat re-enacting the plot and reciting lines! This was the best part for me, it really showed me how much of the story she had understood.

Not only does this activity work on their reading comprehension skills and their literacy skills, it develops their imagination and creativity – it’s a perfect opportunity to have some learning fun!

Other ways you could do this:

  • You could read and sculpt another book.
  • You could sculpt a story scene and picture it to make your own book.
  • Instead of using play dough you could create the characters or set with building blocks.
  • Rather than creating the characters, you could sculpt the landscape of the story and play with plastic figures in the landscape.

Would this make reading even more magical for your toddler too?

 

Animal Madness, Bringing Books to Life, Creativity is Key, Fine Motor, Invitation to Play, Small Worlds, The World Around Me

One of the Best- Playdough Playmats!

I have to be completely honest – this is my new addiction! If you have a child that loves playdough and animals – they will ADORE these activities! It involves next to no prep, hours of fun and lots of learning opportunities!

Basically,we use the playdough as a landscape to play with our plastic animals and/or decorative objects and we love it! The playdough acts as the best playmat, especially for toddlers, because it holds the items in place- it eliminates those frustrating moments where nothing stays stood up for them.

So all you need is…

  • Playdough.
  • Animals.
  • Decorative Items.
  • A playdough friendly area.
  • A Tiny ready to have fun.

What animals and decorative items you use completely depend on what habitat you want to explore, here are a few we have enjoyed;

A Farm – We used our mini farm play set, our small tractor, a fish shape cutter and googly eyes.

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A Rainforest – We used our plastic trees, a plastic log and lots of animals.

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A Beach – We used some shells, stones, plastic seaweed, plastic trees and lots of plastic sea creatures.

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What are they learning?

These activities educate the child about the habitat they are creating and the animals that live there, whilst developing their fine motor skills and their creativity.

What else could you create?

  • Others you could create are a forest, polar, desert, glasslands, wetlands, or ocean habitat.
  • You could use smaller buildings (if you have any) and create a city.
  • To make it magical, you could use an array of objects and fairies to create a fairy world.
  • For something competitive you could use various vehicles and create an off road racing course.
  • To link it in with history, using plastic army men you could create a battlefield area.
  • Using dinosaurs and stones you could create a prehistoric world.
  • To link it into literacy, you could create the scene of a story and re-enact it.

THE OPPORTUNITIES ARE ENDLESS!

Do you love it too?

 

Bringing Books to Life, Creativity is Key, Little Ones Literacy

One of the Best- Story Pictures!

To say my Paige LOVES reading is an understatement; she is absolutely mad for it, so as a mum I keep trying to find new ways to keep her passion growing. One of the ways, which she seems to enjoy the most, is creating a ‘Story Picture’ of the book. Now, this could possibly be because it incorporates art which happens to be her second favourite thing to do! So if you have a fan of art and reading at home, this activity is for you! Or maybe even a fan of art who isn’t too keen on reading!

The great thing I love about them is even at the age of 2, they really show the child’s reading comprehension skills and help to develop them too! They also develop their speaking and listening skills, creativity skills and their fine motor skills if your picture includes sticking things down or stamping- so as a learning activity they’re golden!

Now, we have a portfolio of Story Pictures and we create a new one every week. What’s even better is once we have created them we use them when reading the book again!

Who doesn’t love an activity which creates an already loved learning resource?!

So, what do I mean by a ‘Story Picture’?

We create our visual representation of the book plot and include key characters, places and objects.

Here are a couple we have made (and ones we love!).

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What you need totally depends on how you want to create it, because as you can see you can use almost anything from your craft box – you could even use natural resources like leaves for an Owl Babies inspired one.

How can you use them after they are created?

  • You can ask your tiny to explain the story using the picture.
  • You can play book inspired ‘Can you find…?’ as you read- this tends to be how Paige enjoys uses them the most.
  • You could place it in a plastic wallet and ask your tiny to put a sticker on everything beginning with a certain letter (if they are older and at this stage).
  • You could do a similar thing with words and have them label the picture, or if they aren’t confident readers you could just read the word to them.
  • When you have made a few you could place them on the floor and play ‘pairs’ matching the book to the Story Picture.

Will these be a hit in your home too?