Playdough Imprints. Texture and Pattern Exploration

May 7, 2012

On top of the sensory experience, this playdough imprinting activity also encourages development of fine motor skills, language skills, processes, exploration and textural differences. All important for children learning about the world around them.  

Ages: My 3 year old loved this activity but it's suitable for toddlers through to school age.

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 Materials: Playdough and a variety of different materials collected from around your house that will create different textures and patterns.

I set it out here as an Invitation to Play.

 Imprinting with Rubberbands, Pipecleaner, Comb and strip of Packing material (polystyrene wrap)

 Imprinting with Beaded Necklace, Bubblewrap, Duplo brick, Foam

 Straight into it

 Realising that it should be flat first

 It made a slight fuzz texture and the rectangular shape. She wasn't all that impressed

 How about the duplo?

 One side looked like that. What about the other side?

 Oooh, this looked cool! We noticed how the thin yellow playdough appeared green on top of the blue mat

 We assumed this one would just come out with holes in it. The extra textures inside the holes was unexpected and delightful. She noticed each one was different. These were due to the creases

 The beads made different prints depending on how they were pressed into the playdough

 Because of how thin this material way, the biggest imprint was from fingers!

 Here we talked about grooves and ridges. It also made dots. Very cool

 This left quite a fuzzy texture and she noted the imprint could be in any shape she desired

 I wasn't expecting her to put the rubber band on like this

 She enjoyed looking at and touching the variety of patterns and textures. They were all so different

 Ask your child, which was their preferred/favourite pattern/texture. Why?

 Then I sent her on a hunt to find things around the house that she wanted to test the pattern and texture of. This is what she returned with.

 So many exciting and varied prints. The ideas that came to mind from this were endless...

How else can you play with these materials?

Handy Tips:

- Extend this activity by asking your child to predict what they think the imprint will look like. What different textures and patterns can they achieve with the same material?

- Create a picture or pattern using the different indentations from various materials

- Use new language and descriptive words like, "textures," "grooves," "ridges," "indentations" etc This will help with their language development.

-Ask questions to help connect their understanding using vocabulary to give them words to describe what they're experiencing, eg. "What pattern do you think this will leave?" "What shapes can you see on this material?" "What would happen if you pressed the other side in the playdough?" "How could you make a different texture with this material" etc

- Listen to your child talk as they go through their experiences. This will help you determine where they are at with their learning, knowledge and understanding and help you to develop the activity (or future activities) to their level and interests.

- Repeat. This activity can be repeated time and time again with a different end result each time. Mix around and change some of the materials that you provide each time to inspire new ideas

Debs :)

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