Playdough, Pipe Cleaners and Beads. Invitation to Play

May 9, 2012


An "Invitation to Play" is probably my favourite type of activity for children. Firstly, it is open ended. This means that there is no set outcome or end result that must be achieved. It also means that the child has the freedom to work at their own level and ability.

The most exciting thing about an invitation to play is not knowing exactly what the child is going to do. Obviously there are certain expectation you may have from the activity, such as practicing fine motor skills, demonstrating creativity, developing problem solving skills, language skills etc, but often the other areas of learning are unknown until the child is experiencing them... and children have a way of doing things that us as adults, never thought of or expected!

An "Invitation to Play"

Ages: 2-6+
(My 3 year old enjoyed this activity. See Tips at the bottom to simplify or extend to meet your child's needs) (Just remember to supervise the use of the small beads with younger children)

fun with playdough, kids activity, playdough, pipecleaners, beads and playdough, fun childrens activity
Materials:  Playdough, pipe cleaners and beads

 I hadn't provided enough materials. Apparently a rolling pin is essential! (Well, for what she wanted to do anyway)

 "Look Mummy, I made YOU!" Don't I look lovely?

 Threading beads on pipe cleaners is a little fiddly

 You had to hold your hands and manipulate your fingers in so many different ways

 Proud of the threading she did

Ok, I admit I couldn't resist having a little play too

 Madeline, on the other hand, thought that making a "nest" to pour all the beads into was the way to go

 And the nest should have... a lid!

 Goodbye nest and beads! Where have they all gone?

Ah-ha! There they are :)

Time for some abstract art

Handy Tips:

- Simplify this activity by using a larger size of bead so avoid choking hazards or to suit developing fine motor skills.

- Extend this activity by exploring letters, numbers, patterns and colours. Sort the pipe cleaners and beads into categories. Use them to create pictures. Use them to make letters or numbers in the playdough etc.

- Problem Solving. Make your child aware of the problem solving involved. "How are you going to find all the beads now?" "How will we get them all out?" "How can you keep the beads on the pipe cleaner?" etc

- Use a pipe cleaner or chopstick end to push the playdough out of the beads so they can be reused

- Talk with your child about what they are doing. This will help them understand the physical and mental processes they are going through as well as giving them the vocabulary to describe it.

- Use new language and descriptive words like, "threading." This will help with their language development.

- Supervise your child when using small items such as beads.

More Invitations to Play

Happy playing,
Debs :)

Look where else we are. Are you following along? :)
New Here? Subscribe to get all activities sent directly to you
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner