Friday, May 4, 2018

Sensory Play: Digging Through Dino Poop

Going through my Facebook memories, one popped up that stuck out. It was a memory from seven years ago when I had only had my daycare business a few weeks. It wasn't even a business then, it was a "temporary" thing to help out a friend. We all know how temporary that was! Anyways, the memory was a picture of the two toddlers I had playing with Play Doh and stuffing random toys into it. They called it "dinosaur poop" and they spent the next two hours digging through the Play Doh to see what the dinosaurs ate. They were two of the most creative kids I've ever met. In fact all of daycare's activities stem from something those two came up with.

So, earlier this week I whipped up a batch of brown homemade play dough, hid random toys, and let the kids do their thing. 

 I found it interesting that the kids used the dinosaurs to find the items in the play dough. Each child got their own ball of dough, all with different items hidden in them. Once they found their items the first time, they re-hid them in the play dough, then traded items so they could have all new items to find. 

The feather may not have been the best idea...

Overall, this activity intrigued the kids. Not only did it get them talking about how the body works ("how did what the dinosaurs ate end up in their poop Ash?" Excellent question, which led to MANY more questions), what dinosaurs really ate, and footprints. When they were done finding their items over and over again, they played with the play dough. One of their favorite things to do was make footprints in the dough with the dino figurines. This led us to talk about animal footprints, which led us on a hike at the end of the week to look for animal footprints (although they were hopeful they would see dino footprints and not just deer, foxes, or raccoons). I love activities that tackles a variety of developmental areas: imagination, critical thinking, sensory, sharing and problem solving ("can I use some of your dough when you're done?" That's a tough one for two year olds) are the big ones this activity just happens to incite.

And to think, I owe it all to two overly creative and confident two years so many years ago.