The children in babies and baby plus were all fascinated when they saw the play dough. The children all sat patiently waiting for their share of the play dough and some cutters and were immediately intrigued when it was placed in front of them. The play dough had been coloured green with glitter and almond essence added to increase the sensory experience.
The younger babies enjoyed squeezing and prodding the dough while the older babies enjoyed rolling and using the cutters. Simple shapes and familiar animal cutters were used to develop the babies’ awareness of shape whilst they were having fun and high interested in the activity as the EYFS planning cycles informs us this is when babies learn best. Practitioners encouraged the use of language during the activity by using single words and offering small amounts of commentary. This worked well as one child picked up a duck shaped piece of play dough and said ‘quack quack’. To develop further physical skills practitioners rolled the play dough into small pea sized pieces to encourage the children to think about ‘small’ and ‘big’ and for them to use pincer grips. This was a really good activity to encourage personal and social skills as the children shared cutters and passed the dough around the table and babbling to each other. This activity enabled the children to really show the ways in which they learn best, displaying their own characteristics of learning by showing pleasure in their own creations and finding new ways to explore and manipulate the dough.