We love play dough; it's one of our favorite things. I put it out this week for the first time with my new group. They made snakes and cut them into pieces. They made balls. They flattened it out and cut it with the pizza cutters.
After a while, C was at the table alone. He gathered all the play dough together. He worked for a while and then brought me the result.
"The egg is cracking," he said. "It's a blue green egg. It's an alligator egg."
He showed his alligator egg around and went back to the table to make more lines on the sides.
He worked at the table for a while. I was busy in the blocks center and Mrs. Cindy was working at the puzzles table. So C worked alone with the play dough.
After a few minutes, he carried over his creation. "The egg hatched," he said. "Alligator!"
(It's so cool! The pictures really don't capture it in all its glory.)
This alligator can become the mascot of play-based learning. Kids need time and fun materials. They need to be able to explore their own ideas.
The results can be astounding.