Need a fun play dough activity for your Thanksgiving theme? Your little learners will absolutely love this turkey play dough activity! This play dough activity is the perfect addition to a Thanksgiving unit or celebration in your classroom. Your Preschool or Pre-K students will have a blast exploring and creating with this hands-on turkey play dough activity!
Turkey Play Dough Activity
Some people may think that play dough is just for fun and doesn’t have any academic value, but playing with dough has tons of educational benefits!
When you give young children opportunities to use play dough daily, you’re providing them with opportunities to develop important creativity and fine motor skills in fun and playful ways. Just rolling dough and putting feathers and chenille stems into dough has so many educational benefits for young children. You can find a list of how playing with play dough supports academic learning at the end of this post.
Here’s a list of supplies you may choose to use when setting up a fun and inviting turkey play dough invitation in your own classroom.
- Play Dough (here’s our favorite homemade play dough recipe)
- Rolling Pins
- Chip and Dip Tray
- Googly Eyes
- Chenille Stems
- Biggie Beads
These are just suggestions, you can use whatever supplies you prefer or have available.
Play Dough Set Up
First, you’ll want to set up your turkey play dough invitation on a chip and dip tray, you can usually find these types of chip and dip trays at your local dollar store. These trays are visually appealing, but you can use any tray or flat container you have available.
Play dough invitations are supposed to be open-ended experiences, there’s no right or wrong way to use the materials. Start by inviting your little learners to explore the materials on the tray.
As your kids begin to build 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 being expanded naturally. Think about how much your kids can benefit from increased attention spans!
Making Play Dough Turkeys
You may be wondering what you should do if your kids want to use just some of the materials and not others? Or what if they want to use them all? The answer is simple, let them choose!
Playing with dough should be an open-ended activity without any set expectations. If your kids don’t want to use the feathers or beads in the dough, no problem. It’s all about the process of creating with the materials, rather than making Pinterest perfect turkeys. Let your kids choose what to do with the dough and materials, you’ll be surprised at how creative they can be when given a chance!
Educational Benefits of Play Dough
I told you I was going to give you a list of educational benefits of dough, so here they are!
Creativity – Children use their imaginations to create rather than follow a template or sample. Imaginative children are more likely to become problem solvers later in life.
Communication Skills – Children can talk with their classmates in a relaxed environment which facilitates oral language development. Oral language development is directly related to reading scores later.
Small Group or Independent Work – Dough is perfect for children to use independently, or in a small group.
Fine Motor Skills – Rolling the dough, beads and other materials is great for strengthening those important fine motor skills, which are needed for writing later.