Gruffalo Play Dough!

Create a model of the wonderful story book character, The Gruffalo,  using play dough, added materials and imagination! Then use it to retell the story together!

You will know by now that we absolutely ADORE play dough. We have tried many different recipes, flavours and textures and have invented a few of our own! We have used it to tell stories, practise writing and spelling, in imaginative play and even as a calm down tool before bedtime! 
You can read all about the massive developmental and educational benefits of play dough in this popular post.
This time we paired play dough with one of our all time favourite, classic picture books…The Gruffalo! 
Together, we made some coffee play dough using our 4 minute no-cook recipe (and adding 3 tbsps instant coffee to the boiling water to create a brown colour.) Then we re-read the descriptive passages in the book together and listed out the items we would need to add to the dough to create our monster!
“His eyes are ORANGE
His tongue is BLACK
He has PURPLE prickles all over his back!”
We found buttons, bottle tops, some purple-dyed macaroni and a coloured in lolly stick and set them out as an invitation to create! The girls jumped to it and straight away C told me she needed arms, teeth, tusks and horns! We added more pasta shapes, rice and bbq skewers and she set to creating hew own version of The Gruffalo. I didn’t create one for her to copy, she did this completely alone after reminding herself of what he looked like from the book!  

 I absolutely love it! More so, I love that while she created him she was spontaneously retelling parts of the story from memory, reciting some of the rhyming passages word for word!

Pop joined in enthusiastically too, adding lots of “purple prickles” to her lump of dough, carefully pushing them in, pulling them out and practising her fine motor control as she played!

Using a hands-on, tactile activity to link to stories and other learning experiences helps children to consolidate knowledge and retain it for longer. An active, creative curriculum for children is by far the most effective, at home and at school!  I can’t wait for us to explore some other favourite stories using play dough soon.

Have you ever created a favourite character from dough or used it to tell a story? Please share!

Learning Links:
  • fine motor skills: using a malleable material to pull, pinch, roll, flatten, mold, form, squeeze, squash to strengthen small hand muscles
  • creativity: creating representations of real life or imaginary things using another medium, experimenting with combining materials
  • literacy: developing language and storytelling through imaginary play

Cakie: 3.11
Pop: 2.4
Bean: 5 months

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