Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Story Time With Play Dough


Selena wanted to do her art box this evening, but after we had a busy day in Olympia, I decided instead to pull out the play dough. One of the things that our Pediatrician noticed at Selena’s last appt. was the fact that her right side muscle tone does not seem to be quite as strong as that on the left. She noticed it when she was looking at Selena’s face, her right side doesn’t seem to be quite as plump as the left. There is really nothing much to worry about but I decided it was time to start a little of our own occupational therapy here at home to see if we can’t get the right side dexterity to start building itself a little bit.

So instead of art box we did play dough story telling. We first started out just having fun with the play dough. As I watched Selena I noticed she did in fact have more firmness in her left hand when dealing with the play dough then the right, so we started pounding the clay out on the table, pressing it down as hard as we could using first the left hand, then the right hand.

I then took the play dough and using large amounts to start with had Selena start squeezing it as hard as she could using first the left hand then the right hand. I kept telling her to squeeze with the right side, just as hard as she did the left hand. Now Selena might be fixing to be left handed, which is fine with me, but I did notice through this little exercise that she did begin to realize her right side had just as much strength in it so long as she applied herself, instead of being so dainty.

Then the fun part came in. I gave Selena a small rolling pin and a star shaped cookie cutter. I told her we could create anything we wanted to. She copied me as I rolled the play dough in my hands to make a ball, and then rolled into a long thin worm, as Selena called it. We then went to work on rolling it out and cut star shape cookies. At first Selena acted like she really didn’t want to push that hard on the cookie cutter, so I kept telling her she had to push down as hard as she could. Pretty soon the cookies were all over the table.

As we talked about the stars, we got on the subject of families, now don’t ask me how Selena got families out of the stars, but she did. I asked her one simple question, “What does your family look like?” Next thing I knew we were making fish, she had to have a large one for Papa, a medium size one for Mama, and a small one for Selena. I wrote fish up on the white board, and Selena sounded out the word. I then asked her where her fish family lived. At first she didn’t quite know what to answer, so I gave her more play dough and she made a round glob, she said it came from the Ocean. I asked her if it was a barnacle, and she informed me no it is just a rock from the ocean, then she went back to playing with the fish. Her story took off.

Selena’s Fish Family

Mama fish goes and gets food for little Selena fish.  Papa fish goes away for the day. Papa fish comes back at night, and kisses little Selena fish and Mama fish. Papa fish takes Mama fish and Selena fish for a fun day. They ride a boat, fly in a plane. They swim together, and play together. Papa fish is in front, little Selena fish is in the middle and Mama fish is in the back. They play, swim, boat, fly, all day long. The End!

We must have spent a good hour just playing with play dough this evening. I am going to make this an activity we try to do quite a bit in the evenings together. It was so much fun, and I absolutely loved to see how Selena seen her family.

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  1. What a fun idea! It would be a fun addition to the reading of the Christmas story.

  2. What a very fun story, and I bet that's what your evening routines are like. Okay, so I hope she's left-handed, because I am and none of my kids are. Yes, I know it's silly. But, I really wanted one of my kids to be left-handed.

  3. You had a very fun evening! I love making up stories with Anna too, and I have some ideas about that for January. Playdoh is such a fun medium to develop imagination and also some fine motor strength.

  4. Love the Fish Family Story!!!!! What a bright little girl!

  5. Very cute story that she made! I had been putting off introducing my little one to playdough for a while because I was scared that she was going to eat it. But we have been playing with it for a couple of days now and she loves it! It keeps her attention longer than anything else. But she has tried to lick it a couple of times (sigh) lol.

  6. What a cute story she made!!

    We love Play doh too:-).

    This is a great activity.