Play and theme-based learning with our children

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Play Dough + Dental Floss = an Earth Exploration



For a great time, you can pair play dough with just about anything. Check out NurtureStore to get a year’s worth of play dough play ideas. I’d personally like to thank play dough for being a perfect way for my son to stay happily busy while I make dinner.
This time, we’re starting with an array of (homemade) play dough colors because I have a special project planned. While learning about space, my son and I find ourselves gravitating toward planet Earth. In my son’s favorite Earth-related book,“The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth“, a class journeys through the planet’s rock and mantle layers, drilling all the way through the core and out the other side. That got me thinking about modeling the Earth’s layers, and then I found this Earth Day craft on “Meet the Dubiens”. A play dough Earth core!
Of course, we make our own play dough Earth. It’s pictured above with dental floss. Why dental floss? Well, there are many ways to slice a hunk of dough, and the ease with which floss cuts it like butter makes me a little giddy.
But my son prefers plastic knives to chop his dough. And so he makes “worms”, a play dough classic, while glancing over at my efforts to model the Earth’s layers.
Once he sees the finished product, he’s in awe and bursting with curiosity. Truth is, I am too. And so I hand him the floss…
Wow! The layers look cool!
I lightly mention what the different colors represent (red = the inner core, orange = the outer core, yellow = the mantle, brown = the crust, and blue and green = ocean and land), but I don’t make a big deal of it since I can tell my son is much more interested in observing and enjoying rather than getting a lesson.
Besides, he already has his own agenda – how quickly can he mash up all the colors and start dissecting it with his plastic knife!
 
 
What are some of your favorite play dough pairings?

This post first appeared as a Two Ingredient Tuesday on kiwicrate.com

23 comments:

  1. Dental floss is used for the teeth as the term implies. However, it is a good idea to use dental floss to cut clays. This is a superb idea indeed.

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  2. Dental floss to cut clays? Wow, this is a brilliant idea. Let me go ahead and try this one.

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  3. Dental floss is a great alternative to sharp knives in cutting clays. This can prevent accidents. I just hope you don't pick those flosses up during emergency dental care situations. Just kiddin'!

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  4. That's a great way to teach lessons to children! The use of dental floss though, is ingenious.

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