Young children love play dough at my home and in the preschool classroom. Play dough is just one of those activities that children of all ages are magically drawn to. To keep their interest you can change the colors of your play dough, as well as any loose parts you offer with the play dough. For a zoo theme, try this tiger play dough activity with your little learners to spice things up a bit!
Tiger Play Dough Preparation
- Liquid watercolors or food coloring
- Zoo cookie cutters
- Zoo animals
- Googly eyes
- Black chenille craft stems
Make your favorite play dough recipe as the base of this activity. (Check out a basic recipe on the play dough center page.)
Split the dough in half. Color half orange and the other half black. We used liquid watercolors for the colors, but food coloring would work as well. Knead both colors well.
Cut the chenille craft stems into small “stripes” and set them out with the googly eyes, cookie cutters, and animals. We decided just to use the plastic tiger rather than the rest of his zoo buds.
Tiger Play Dough Exploration
Sit back and let the children explore! We decided we were going to create tiger versions of our favorite zoo animals using the play dough. The children thought it was hysterical to make a stripey rhino and giraffe! There was a silly story about the tiger getting confused when his zoo friends changed their colors to match his.
The boys decided it would be fun to mix the colors together to create a swirl of black and orange. More cookie cutter animals were created, as well as a “super gigantic tiger monster with a mustache.” Oh how I love the creativity of children!
The Benefits of Play Dough
As simple as this activity is, it’s still full of important early learning skills. Here are just a few:
- Fine motor skills
- Color identification
- Animal identification
- Oral language skills
Would your kids enjoy using this tiger play dough as part of a preschool theme? I’d love to hear all about it if you try it out!
BIO: Mary Catherine has over 10 years’ experience teaching pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. She’s mom to an elementary-aged son, preschool teacher to many, and the creator of Fun-A-Day! You can find her on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. Be sure to check out her Cat in the Hat play dough invitation if you liked this one!