Word Formation with Playdough

by Meghan

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Big M and I have been reading Charlotte’s Web at bedtime these last few weeks.  Due largely to the story, Big M has become increasingly interested in word formation, and we have made several projects this week featuring Charlotte’s web words.  Today, taking a little inspiration from Parenting Chaos’ Dinosaur Fossils, which has been one of the girls’ favorite activities all Spring, we shifted our word formation medium from paper to playdough!

Word Formation with Playdough


Word Formation with Playdough

The last few weeks, I’ve been watching the gears turning in Big M’s little head.  It’s like suddenly the light switch flipped, and she realized all these letters she knows go together to form words.  She is constantly asking me, “Mama, what does this say?”  She used to point to words and name all the letters, but now she will say the word (if she’s memorized it).  She lines up her magnet letters on her easel and tells me she’s writing.

Since we started reading Charlotte’s Web last month, the interest in word formation has more than doubled.  She still struggles a bit with actually writing her letters, though we continue to work on it.  But, when I saw these alphabet stamps in the Target $3 Dollar Spot yesterday, I knew they would be perfect to continue our studies in word formation without the added pressure or frustration of letter formation.  I decided to test drive them this afternoon in playdough.  If you don’t find them at your local Target, Melissa and Doug makes a great set with upper and lowercase letters that you can find on Amazon.

You can find our favorite, quick and easy homemade playdough recipe here.  When I brought out the playdough, Lil’ M immediately requested “the ‘sauruses”.  I told them today we were going to try something different.  We always play with playdough on baking mats for easy clean-up!  I gave them each a set of letters to go with their playdough.  I asked Big M what she wanted to write…  “Some Pig!”  I showed her how to press the letters into the playdough with the S-O-M-E and then she took over.

Of course next up was “Terrific!”  She asked me how to spell it one letter at a time, but searched for and placed the letters all herself.  After that, I left her to her own devices.  When she was wrapping up, she told me she was writing a letter to Grandma.

While Big M is working on word formation, Lil’ M at 21 months is just learning her letters.  She had plenty of fun with the stamps in the playdough too!

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This will definitely be a repeat activity!  What are some of your favorite activities for early literacy, word formation?  For more Preschool and Book-Related Activity posts, be sure to follow our Preschool board on Pinterest, as well as my collaborative board hosted by multiple kid bloggers, Books with Activities.

Follow Meghan @ PlaygroundParkbench’s board Preschool (3-5 years) on Pinterest.
Follow Jennifer Dickison @ My Little Me’s board Kids – Books with Activities on Pinterest.

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18 comments

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Cass May 16, 2015 - 2:27 pm

What a great way to learn!

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susen @Dabbling Momma May 15, 2015 - 10:52 pm

I LOVE this activity! We have those same stamps from Target, aren’t they great!? We have not used them with playdough but will now! What a great activity. Pinning and re-sharing! You are featured over at Crafty Moms Share this week, congrats!

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PGPBMeghan May 16, 2015 - 9:55 am

Thanks so much for letting me know about the feature – will be over to check them all out and share again! LOVE the stamps, such a great find in the Dollar Spot. We had never used stamps in playdough before either, but it was such a simple idea, and the kids loved it. I can’t believe I never thought of it sooner. They have already asked to do it again multiple times in the last week.

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My Bored Toddler May 14, 2015 - 7:38 am

What a great way to learn letters and numbers! Thanks for sharing on #ToddlerFunFriday

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PGPBMeghan May 14, 2015 - 8:21 am

Thanks so much! I need to find some number stamps 🙂

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Jolanthe May 13, 2015 - 4:04 pm

Such a good idea! My 2nd grader would also enjoy this when he is soooo tired of writing.

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PGPBMeghan May 13, 2015 - 7:05 pm

I love activities that are enjoyable across ages… even if they all get something different out of it. My 21 month old loved it as much as my 3.5 year old, and I’m sure your elementary-aged child could make sentences with it!

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PGPBMeghan May 10, 2015 - 12:00 pm

My 21 month old does everything Big Sis does – never wants to be left out! I’m always amazed by how much she is capable of! Thanks for stopping by!

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