Color and Shape Fine Motor Practice: Playdough and Beads

Playdough is such a fun way to practice fine motor skills and practice matching colors at the same time.  I loved this idea and we had our own spin on it.

I initially found this idea for practicing a pincer grasp using beads, spaghetti noodles and playdough on Sugar Aunts.  I loved the idea and also loved the bright rainbow playdough I had seen all over Pinterest.  I have not found a favorite homemade playdough recipe yet.  I've tried several but nothing that I love and stick to each time.  This time I tried the No Cook version from The Imagination Tree.  I thought it was a huge fail at first.  I knew I wanted all the colors of the rainbow but I didn't want to make a batch for each color because we didn't need that much playdough in the house.  I tried to divide up a double batch into six colors.  The colors weren't bright and vibrant even as I added more and more food coloring.  I finally just let the colors go and focused on the consistency, which seemed too wet and sticky.  Turns out that with these no cook recipes, you really have to knead the dough for awhile and add extra flour as you do it.  I finally got it to the right consistency and settled on the slightly pastel colors.
 I gave K, my 3 1/2 year old, four different colors with spaghetti in it and a container of pony beads.  I showed her how to sort the beads to match the color of the playdough and slide it onto the noodle.  She was able to do this with no problem.
 I gave M, my almost 2 year old, only two colors of playdough and the beads that matched. She did a pretty good job of sorting the beads to match the color of playdough but she preferred squishing it into the playdough instead of threading it onto the noodles.

After they tried this for awhile, we attempted to pick out as many beads and pieces of spaghetti as possible and then I just let them play and mix the colors.  They definitely aren't the bold rainbow colors but they still look fun all mixed together.  

For more ideas for teaching colors and shapes, click HERE for my Preschool Mini Unit. 

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