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  • Melanie Patric

Circle Time, Baskets, and Easter Play Dough Three Ways...

We had a lovely time performing our April fingerplays. This month we're focusing on April showers during circle time, and the children's favorite so far is this one:

Two little clouds one April day

Went sailing across the sky.

They went so fast they bumped their heads,

And they began to cry.

The big round sun came out and said

"Oh nevermind my dears,

I'll send my golden sunbeams down

To dry your fallen tears."

When circle time was over we got ready to make a few batches of homemade play dough. We wanted to make a spring color, so we decided that lemon-scented yellow play dough would be perfect. I set out the ingredients and the children took turns dumping in the flour, salt, cream of tartar, lemon extract, food coloring, and oil.

The recipe called for adding very hot water, so needless to say I did that part for safety reasons. In just a few minutes we had a batch of lovely sensory-rich dough to squeeze, form, squish, and roll. The lemon batch went so quickly and smoothly that we decided to make a vanilla and a chocolate batch as well.

While the dough was cooling, we had fun playing a game of beanbag toss. I put down a tape line and the children took turns tossing beanbags into a laundry basket. The littles ended up getting their own special line closer to the basket, but the big kids enjoyed the extra challenge of being further away.

When the dough was ready I divided the three colors up amongst the children and we took turns smelling our dough. We thought the lemon play dough smelled a little like jellybeans. The chocolate play doh was our favorite and reminded us of the smell of chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs.

Since we were in an Easter frame of mind, I modeled how to roll a circle into an egg shape, and the big kids had a great time making a bunch of eggs.

Meanwhile the littles and I worked on squeezing and poking the dough to enhance their fine motor skills and build hand strength. By the time I had finished with the littles, the big kids had a pile of eggs and I suggested they build a nest for the eggs to go in.

They were happy to oblige and we ended up creating lots of other things with the dough in a long imaginitive play session. We made bunnies, ducks, ducklings, chicks, and even a swan.

Later in the day we squeezed in a quick reading of The Easter Egg before we played more beanbag toss. The beanbag toss was a great way to practice taking turns and picking up after ourselves.

We took a brief stroll outside at the end of the day in hopes that the weather was warm enough, but the wind was chilly and the sky was overcast and forbidding and we soon went back in.

See you tomorrow!

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