Few days ago we had a child-led art play with my daughter as she found a styrofoam cube in my art supplies wardrobe. Immediately she asked if she could use it ‘Mamma Can I take this one with me?’ (I answered positively). I am always excited looking at her exploring things in new ways and I just observe her play (she really inspires me).
Firstly she dropped the cube in the air, she kicked it around like a soccer ball, then she took it to her art and craft table and started poking objects (she found around the house) into the cube like wooden spoons, straws, popsicle sticks etc. When she realised that many of the found objects she tried to poke into the styrofoam didn’t stick on the cube she then started saying in a loud voice (so I can hear LOL ) ‘Ah this pebble does not stick, this straw does not stick here (insisting and showing with her hands while looking at me)’.
Hence I told her ‘I have an idea for you’ and I presented her a batch of our homemade Playdough. As she really enjoyed the texture of our natural playdough, she started covering the cube’s surface with colors and shapes. Moreover I added to her play more loose parts, including her favorite dog figurines.
Therefore she started using the dough as a glue to stick different materials together. Also she truly had fun shaping new forms by sculpting the dough. Then she even came up with the idea to dress her little dog figurines. ‘Mamma look my dogs have now clothes’. I said ‘Wow that’s really cool, their clothes are really fancy and unique!’, I added: ‘Your creation (and I showed her embellished cube) is really bright and colorful. It reminds me of candies and sweets’ and she then answered ‘This is the planet of lollipops!’. Finally, we ended the activity singing (an improvised song) about the planet of Lollipops while we had some imaginary play with the little dog figurines!
Kids always have many ideas of how to use the simplest of materials and that’s exactly where the magic happens! Enjoy yourself and family!
P.S Natural Playdough is always a hit in our house. Also we love its lovely texture and smell and we use it a lot from our three year old to our daddy cool! It’s totally the magic material; soft, pliable, nox-toxic and totally soothing! Besides playdough is a fantastic play based learning tool, especially for little ones. Moreover it can be used as a material to construct, shape, stick (different materials and textures together) and practise for scissor skills (example: you can roll ‘snakes’ and then cut them into pieces) and many many other uses…
is just too amazing!