Around here, at Pails of Love, we absolutely love the magic of play. Some favored and well sought out play toys at home and in the classroom are the dinosaurs. Because of their popularity, we decided to create some learning fun. So let’s introduce: Dinosaur Play Dough Mats!!
All you will need for these dinosaur play dough mats are some dinosaurs of all sizes, your FREE printable dino mats, play dough and some plastic easter eggs (optional)
But before we dive into the world of Dinosaur Play Dough Mats, let’s talk about an amazing Play Dough Recipe that is definitely tried and true.
The original play dough recipe was found from Early Learning Ideas
But the reason that we absolutely love this Play Dough… is because this recipe is really forgiving. So don’t worry if you feel hesitant to try it out because you won’t be sorry!!
To make this Tried and True Play Dough Recipe you will need:
- 3 cups flour
- 3/4 cup salt
- 5 Tbsp cream of tartar
- 3 cups water
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- food coloring
Now that you’ve got all the ingredients together you’re ready to deep dive into actually making your play dough!! If you are looking to only make one color of play dough you can just mix all the ingredients and color together. Once everything is mixed, place on medium heat on the stovetop and stir until it becomes a ball. And voila your play dough is ready to go!!
If you’re looking for more specific instructions then just keep reading below:
Play Dough Making Instructions:
Add first 5 ingredients to a large pot. Stir all together and cook over medium heat on the stove
As you are mixing everything together, mix in your food coloring a few drops at a time until you get the desired color.
If you want to do separate food coloring colors, you can always mix in the color while kneading. Just make sure to wear gloves so you don’t color your hands
Keep stirring play dough over the heat and it will soon start to thicken.
Remove from heat when the mixture forms a ball in the center of the pot.
Place the ball on a lightly floured cutting board or cookie sheet and carefully knead the ball of play dough until it is smooth
The greatest thing about this homemade playdough is that if you store it in a Ziploc baggie or air-tight container that it can last up to 3 months which is pretty amazing!!
Here comes the dinosaur play!
Have you ever played with Dinosaurs and playdough?? There is something so satisfying about squishing the playdough down to see the dinosaur footprints.
And there is something even more satisfying about hiding baby dinosaurs in playdough eggs and watching your students hatch them out.
Now In order, to turn this play dough fun into a magical learning wonderland we need to talk about how sometimes just having conversations with students can scaffold learning.
By giving students simple tasks during your conversation it can become a fundamental learning opportunity as to number sense, simple reading practice, and also conversations that can talk about classification of dinosaurs based on their characteristics.
For the learning aspect of math just pull out the egg number printables and ask them to help you find the numbers and read the sentences on their mats.
And then go on a picture walk with your student or child about the dinosaur and the characteristics that are unique to that type of dino.
By doing these three simple things during small group play it will help provide your students or child(ren) the skills necessary that will be needed later on for reading and math skills later on.
Are you ready to deep dive into the world of dinosaur play, counting and classification?? Well just download this FREE Dinosaur Play Dough Mats by subscribing down below!!