At play with playdough people in preschool

I recently acquired these little people shaped craft sticks. The craft stick people were unfinished so I painted a few of them blue and a few of them red…

I am always looking to add new dimensions of play to the materials we already have in the classroom. So I added the people shaped craft sticks to the playdough table today…

The children started off by simply exploring the two different kinds of materials by sticking the playdough people into large clumps of playdough…

After the children explored the “mechanics” of the two materials together for awhile, I asked if I could play too. I rolled a smaller piece of playdough into a little ball and stuck my playdough person into the ball… Then I “walked” my playdough person across the table to talk to the other playdough people…

As I said “hello” to the other playdough people, the children naturally used their playdough people to say “hello” back to me. After a few minutes, I left my playdough person on the table and walked away to observe again from a little bit of a distance…

The play now began to broaden. I observed the children…

  • using their hands to break apart and roll smaller clumps of playdough which worked those fine motor skills
  • participating in pretend play as they had their playdough people talk to each other
  • interacting with each other as their playdough people visited their friends
  • discovering and exploring a new way to play with playdough

It didn’t take long before the table was full of children joining in…

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By |2011-03-31T22:48:43+00:00March 31st, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Kerri March 31, 2011 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    Great activity!!


    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 31, 2011 at 11:08 pm - Reply

      Thank you Kerri:)

  2. Ana April 1, 2011 at 7:29 am - Reply

    Deborah, this is idea is great! I cant wait to get some for my kids!!
    thanks for sharing

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 1, 2011 at 7:33 am - Reply

      You welcome Ana!

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