Most children love play dough, so I decided to turn this play time into learning time.
Learning Numbers with Play Dough
First, roll out several Play Doh colors for extra practice with colors and following directions, as your preschooler practices their number recognition. Be sure the numbers are in front of the child and that you distinguish between a 6 and a 9 – I tell my children, ‘a 6 has a circle on the bottom and a 9 has a circle on top'.
Next, just tell your child to make a ‘yellow 2' or a ‘purple 9'.
It is important to start slowly with this learning box activity, but it is very easy to build on the difficulty as their skills improve.
Increase the Difficulty
Tell the child to make the numbers that come before and after a certain number. For an example, ask the child to make the number before and after a 4. They should make a 3 and a 5 in the color of play dough that you requested.
Make patterns with the colors, as they learn to count in order. Make a red 1, a purple 2, a yellow 3, and a red 4. Then arrange them in order. Ask them to decide from the pattern what color the number 5 should be (purple) and what color the next letter would be (a yellow 6).
Increase their memory by giving them instructions to making several numbers. Make me a yellow 2, a purple 8, a red 4 and a pink 6. Start with two or three instructions and increase them as their ability improves.