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Using Descriptive Language

Playing with playdough can be a great way to practice using descriptive words such as colors, shapes and sizes with your child. Here are some suggestions:

Colors: Have your child identify the colors of the playdough they are using. Depending on the age of the child, the description could range from basic colors (e.g. green, blue) to more specific (e.g. neon green, light blue).

Shapes: Make various shapes for your child to identify. Next, have your child create these shapes for you to identify (e.g. square, circle, triangle, rectangle, oval, diamond, heart, star, etc.)

Sizes: Make these shapes in various sizes and have your child describe the size (e.g. big, small, short, long, etc.)

All of these descriptive words can then be combined by making shapes of various colors and sizes. Have your child describe a shape you have made (e.g. It’s a small, pink circle) or have them follow directions to create a shape (e.g.  Can you make a big, green triangle?)

Using Prepositions

Playing with playdough is also a great way to incorporate the use of prepositions. Begin by creating a variety of shapes of various colors and sizes with the playdough. Use prepositions to have your child place or hide the shapes in certain locations. (e.g. Put the green circle on the pink circle. Put the purple square between the pink triangle and the orange circle. Put the yellow circle in the blue cup.) They can then direct you to place the objects. A fun challenge to add to this activity would be to create a bigger picture from the smaller shapes like a house or a face, for example, by following the prepositional directions. Another challenge,  could be to put a barrier such as a book up between you and your child and take turns describing your playdough creation to the other person to see if they can recreate it.

Examples of prepositions: in, on, under, next to, beside, above, behind, in front of, below, beside, between, over, under

An array of playdough shapes including a large pink triangle, orange diamond, small green circle, large orange circle, large pink circle, large green star, purple heart, and large purple square
Playdough shapes: The top row has a large pink circle, with a smaller green circle placed on top of it. The bottom row has a large pink triangle, a large purple square and a large orange circle.
A house made of playdough shapes. The main base of the house is a very large green square. A large pink rectangle is placed on the left side of the green square to represent the door. A medium sized orange square is placed on the left side of the green square to represent a window.  A large purple triangle is placed above the base to represent the roof