Today I sat down to brainstorm some ideas for a September “All About Me” preschool theme. I was actually having a hard time coming up with ideas until decided a play dough idea was the way to go (we love homemade play dough!). Play dough invitations to play always spark my imagination and spur creative learn through play opportunities!
Supplies for All About Eyes Invitation to Play
- White play dough (homemade recipe to follow)
- Unfinished wood disks
- Blue, brown, and green paint
- Black gems
- Black foam
- Magnifying glass
- Divided tray
Recipe for White Play Dough
Mix 1 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup cornstarch, and 3/4 cup of water into a saucepan. turn on heat to medium-low and stir continuously until dough forms. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Knead when it is cool to touch.
Setting-Up the All About Eyes Invitation to Play
While the play dough dries, paint the wood disks brown, blue, and green. Also, cut small foam pieces into strips to make eyelashes. (note: you can also use craft foam to create the colored part of the eyes, I used wood disks because I didn’t have brown foam).
After the above prep work is done, place the dough in the center of a divided tray and fill the remaining wells with black gems, foam eyelashes, wooden disks, and a magnifying glass (this is to examine a friend’s eyes to see details).
Once kids see this creative display, they are bound to want to jump right in!
While my kids played we talked about the different parts of the eye: iris, pupil, eyelashes, and the sclera (the white part). My kids had to use the magnifying glass several times just to reexamine my eye and notice all the different parts were there!
Their finished eyes were cute! I loved that they took them apart and re-made them over and over again. A simple invitation to play like this gave lots of hands-on learning opportunities that stuck. No need for flashcards or worksheets here!
Extension idea: Have your kids examine the size of your pupils. Then, hand them a flashlight to shine in your eyes. Ask them what they observed!