Do you teach a pond life or bird theme? Your little learners will absolutely love this duck pond play doh activity! This play dough activity is the perfect addition to a bird unit or a pond life study in your classroom. Your Preschool or Pre-K students will have a blast exploring and creating with this hands-on duck pond theme play dough activity!
Duck Pond Play Doh Activity
When you think play dough, do you automatically think “mess?” What may look like messy play on the surface, is actually an educational powerhouse.
Using play dough daily helps your little learners develop important creativity and fine motor skills in fun and playful ways. Even rolling dough and pressing cookie cutters into dough is beneficial for young children. There’s a list that explains how playing with play dough supports academic learning at the end of this post.
Duck Pond Supplies
Here are a few supplies you may consider using when setting up a fun and inviting duck pond play dough invitation in your own classroom.
- Play Dough (here’s our favorite homemade playdough recipe)
- Rolling Pins
- Duck Cookie Cutters
- Chip and Dip Tray (dollar store)
- Gems (dollar store)
- Ducks (dollar store)
These are just suggestions, you can use whichever supplies you prefer or have available.
Duck Pond Set Up
To prepare, you’ll want to set up your duck pond play dough invitation on your chip and dip tray. Chip and dip trays like the one shown here can usually be found at your local dollar store. These trays are visually appealing, but you can use any tray or flat container you have available.
Playing with dough should be an open-ended experience, there are no right or wrong ways to use the materials. First, start by inviting your little learners to explore the materials on the tray.
As your kids explore and create with the play dough and materials on the tray, their creativity and imaginations will begin to take over. When young children are engaged in activities that invite them to be creative and use their imaginations, their attention spans are naturally expanded. Think about how much your kids can benefit from increased attention spans!
Making a Duck Pond with Play Dough
If you’re wondering what you should you do if your kids want to use some of the materials and not others, just let them choose! What if they want to use all the materials>? That’s fine too!
Playing with dough should be an open-ended activity, without any pre-determined expectations. If your kids don’t want to use the sticks or gems, don’t stress out. It’s all about the process of creating with the materials, not about making Pinterest perfect ducks or ponds. Let your kids choose what they want to do with the dough and materials (within reason), you’ll be surprised at just how creative they can be!
Educational Benefits of Play Dough
Playing with play dough has many educational benefits for young children, I’ve listed some of those benefits for you below.
Creativity – Children use their imaginations to create rather than follow a template or teacher made sample. Imaginative children are more likely to become problem solvers later in life.
Communication – Children can chat with their friends and classmates in a relaxed environment which develops oral language skills. Oral language development is directly related to reading scores later.
Small Group or Independent Work – Perfect for children to do independently or in a small group.
Fine Motor Skills – Rolling the dough and using dough scissors and cookie cutters are great ways to strengthen those important fine motor skills, which they’ll need for writing later.