To make our Ocean dough we cooked a batch of playdough & split it into three, colouring two lots with blue & green food colouring, & leaving the remaining playdough plain.
Minnie mixed the three lots of dough together producing some beautiful swirly patterns, & the colours soon blended to form our ocean dough.
M enjoyed exploring the ocean playdough, but was concerned the animals didn't have a beach, so we added a tray of sand to the play!
Adding a sandy area to the ocean play was useful for introducing animals that live both on land & in the sea.
Have you used music or a backing track to accompany Small World Play?
I appreciate the value of offering a quiet/natural environment for any play, but occasionally we have a piece of classical music playing softly in the background which relates to the theme of play. For example we've listened to Saint-Saëns' 'Carnival of the Animals' when playing with farm / jungle / sea / animal activities. The 'Aquarium' provides a brilliant background to our Seascape Play Area & is wonderfully relaxing to listen to.
We tried something a little different when playing with our ocean playdough & listened to a recording of the sea. A great way to connect with the natural world.
Our ocean play became multi-sensory when we added our soundtrack, & the salty playdough was perfect to represent the salty sea. It's amazing how evocative smell & sound are, just listening to this track transports me to the seaside.
One of the books we're currently reading, & one which is a great accompaniment for any ocean themed play is 'Commotion in the Ocean' by Giles Andreae.
This pop up book is full of short, fun, descriptive poems relating to a selection of creatures living in the ocean. Fun to read, with bright illustrations to explore. M has been reciting parts of the text during her play with the ocean playdough, particularly the characteristics of the animals (the dolphins squeaking, & the lobsters clippetty-clapping snippety-snapping) as they swim & explore their habitat.
Our ocean playdough has been stored in the fridge & has lasted pretty well considering how much it has been played with in the sand!
This activity offers so many areas of learning to be explored, & it just makes me want to head off to the beach again!