What do you do with play dough your child chooses as his prize for all the tickets Mommy and Daddy earned while he was riding rides at Chuck E Cheese? There are a million things to do… of course! The number one thing to do is just… PLAY!
That is what we did, Play. We smashed it on bubble wrap, poked holes in it with the handle of a plastic spoon, tore it apart, and put it back together. I could add that Lily Anne tried to eat it, probably successfully a few times, but that’s another story. This story is about another teachable moment that always seems to sneak into our play. If I’m paying close attention, those teachable moments are more than just instances that allows a tid bit of information to connect somewhere in the brain, they become inspirations that lead to experimentation and deep learning.
In this case, Caleb wanted me to roll a ball for him, so I did. When I handed it to him, he said, “Little ball.” I laughed and challenged, “Little ball? I’ll show you little ball…” I took a tiny piece of dough and rolled it into the smallest ball I could make. He thought that was funny, and since I was paying attention to notice this teachable moment, I held onto the reins and chased after the inspiration train!
- We made several little balls, big balls, and all the sizes in between (those we named “medium”).
- We started sorting into categories of “small,” “medium,” and “large.” Putting “same” together.
- We ordered them in a line from smallest to largest.
- I picked one out and asked him to pick one that was bigger/smaller.
- We counted the small ones. Then, we counted the medium ones and last the large ones.
We had fun… and when it wasn’t fun anymore, we moved on. We explored the sizes of objects and practiced the vocabulary people use to describe measurements they observe.
These moments are always there, sometimes hidden in a request and sometimes obvious through a question, but they are there. Grab them, let them inspire you to take your child on an engaging learning adventure.
As before, I turned this teachable moment into an interactive and engaging product for you to support your learner as he builds math vocabulary through play! Click here to check out Play Dough Math Vocabulary Task Cards! Enjoy!
Have a Blessed Learning Day!