We went to Dollar Tree on Saturday so I could pick up a party tray and some St. Patrick's Day doodads. Sadly, there were no gold coins to be found. The entire seasonal "tot school" options were slim pickin's, to be honest.
Today, the girls and I made homemade playdough (flour, salt, cream of tartar, food coloring, and water) and I set out the tray with sorted pony beads. We used our legs-in card table for a play surface. I rolled out the green playdough and started making a rainbow with the beads.
Faster than you can say "St. Patrick's Day," Kate (2.5) was next to me pushing purple beads into the white playdough. I love watching her play and strengthen the muscles in her hands! (Read this great post from an OT mom for specific play ideas.)
Addie (5.5) asked if we could make other colors of playdough, so she helped me read the recipe and mix it. This was perfect--her Saxon math lesson for today actually had her using a 1-cup measuring cup to mix colored water, so making the dough extended her learning. She, too, had a great time pushing the beads in and pulling them back out.
All in all? A SUCCESS! I'm sure we'll be using the playdough and beads again tomorrow.
(Tip: When the dough is stuck inside the beads, I found that a Dum Dum stick is THE perfect size to push it through.)