Thursday, August 21, 2014

Building Play Dough and Rock Houses

Happy Friday everybody!  Today I just wanted to share with you a really, really easy and fun activity that Chuck and I recently did together.  Inspired by fellow Rockin' Art Mom Babble Dabble Do's Clay and Wood Block Structures, Chuck and I built Rock and Play Dough Houses!

Building with Rock and Playdough! 

Build with Rocks and Play Dough (great for 3 Little Pigs Story)
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We've been going to the beach once a week lately, and I always come home with lovely rocks. To justify my slowly growing pile of rocks, I thought this would be a great way for us to use them in a fun and creative way.

Materials Used:  

  • Rocks (Cleaned and dried)
  • Play Dough Toys  (You can buy them, but we normally just use items from around the house.)
  • Play Dough*

* Chuck's allergic to wheat and sometimes gets rashes from playing with certain types of play dough.  So, we typically just make our own batches at home.  This time we followed this amazing no cook gluten free play dough recipe from Fun At Home With Kids.  It's made from corn starch and baby rice cereal and was super easy to make.

Let's Build with Rocks and Play Dough!

materials for play

We usually work indoors, so we covered our work area with a shower liner.  Then, we got to work making our gluten free play dough.

playing with gluten free playdough

After a couple of minutes the play dough was made, and Chuck started off by exploring the play dough and using the tools.  (For some reason he really liked playing with our dough scraper.)

boy building with play dough and rocks

Then, I showed Chuck how playdough acted like "glue" and helped to stick the rocks together.  He kind of went with the idea and began squishing rocks on top of each other.

building a wall with play dough and rocks

Then we began building a wall together.  While we built, I also told him the story of the 3 Little Pigs.  (In case you didn't know, Chuck has a soft spot for pigs and his favorite stuffed toy is a tiny pink pig.)  He enjoyed hearing the story so much that I retold the story several times, making sure to change the "house of bricks" part to "house of playdough and stones."

As much as Chuck enjoyed putting the houses together, he REALLY enjoyed taking them apart and cutting them up.

boy cutting up play dough rock wall

The activity ended up lasting quite awhile. Several houses, towers, and walls were built and demolished that day.

building a play dough and rock house

And in case your stones get super gunky with play dough like ours did, just soak them in water for a couple of hours and the dough will just melt away.

building rock and playdough structures with kids

I really enjoyed doing this activity with Chuck because it was so easy to set up and he really enjoyed it.   It was also a great way to incorporate some natural and engineering elements into our play.

If you liked this activity, you might like these other ways to incorporate natural elements into your play, building, and making.  

And you can always find other great ideas on my Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts!

Happy building!