Play dough is a wonderful sensory experience for children and one that most will thoroughly enjoy.
Today we're combining a couple of our favourite tactile materials
with an easy way to practice Name Recognition, Letters and Spelling.
This activity is also great for promoting fine motor skills and can also be used to focus
on colours and patterns.
(Maddie is currently 3.5. See the Handy Tips at the bottom of the post to either Simplify or Extend this activity)
Materials: Playdough, Pompoms, Rolling Pin and Pencil
Roll out the playdough and using the pencil, write in your child's name
Start covering the lines with pompoms to show your child what to do. We used mini pompoms here.
Children place the pompoms to cover the lines to spell out their name using their pincer grip.
Add tweezers for an added challenge.
Pom-pom name. Discuss the letters and order.
Use to practice single letters
Using larger pompoms
- To simplify this activity, start with single letters, such as the first letter of your child's name. Using larger pompoms will be easier for less advanced fine motor skills as they are easier to grab. When teaching single letters try to start with letters that have meaning to them (like the first letter of their name) and letters that generally have only 1 sound (eg S, M, F etc)
- To extend this activity, have your child do the writing in the play dough with the pencil. You could always do a very faint outline and have your child trace over the top to make the lines themselves if they're not confident at letter formation
- To begin again, simply scrunch the dough back into a ball and re-roll out.
- Use this same idea for teaching sight words or numbers
- Mix it up by providing different materials to cover the lines with such as beans or beads etc.
- Include further areas of learning by talking about and focusing on covering each letter with a particular colour or by encouraging simple patterns.
Want more ideas for Learning Letters?
Try our most popular and comprehensive post ever on the subject: The A-Z of Learning Letters. 90+ Activities
or, try making some fun Alphabet Goo!
How about some different fun Learning with Playdough?
Our Playdough Imprints. Texture and Pattern Exploration activity was really fun
or, how about this fun Invitation to Play with playdough and some other materials?
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