Dig Into Construction Sites- Play Dough Fun

Dig Into Construction Sites- Play Dough Fun
Each month this summer I have been co-hosting a Dig Into… themed link up. In May there was a Dig Into Gardening link up. June featured a Dig Into Exploring Underground Animals themed link up. This month Frogs, Snails, and Puppy Dog Tails, Royal Baloo,Growing Book By BookHands On Homeschooler and I are co-hosting a Dig Into Construction Sites link up.
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My son has always loved to dig in the dirt and play with his construction vehicles.  There was a time when he only wanted me to check out construction site themed books out of the library. He loved them so much I made him a construction site themed cake for his birthday when he was three.

Road Work Ahead

 Recently we read the book Road Work Ahead  by Anastasia Suen. It is a wonderful story about a road trip to visit grandmother. Along the way a family sees all kinds of construction equipment doing work.  There are jackhammers digging holes in the road. Cherry pickers helping worker change light bulbs in street lights. Dump trucks filled with dirt from a job site crossing the road. The family has so many vehicles and construction sites to take in. Reading this book inspired me to create a play dough activity for JDaniel that would involve some of the construction toys he has.

Play Dough Fun

Digging Up Play Dough

I set up an invitation for JDaniel to explore construction equipment and a job site in a large plastic zipper bag.  The bag contained play dough smooshed into a toaster oven tray and several of JDaniel’s construction equipment toys.

He was told that I had it for him and he could carry it outside or play with it inside. JDaniel decided to carry it outside to the driveway. There he spread out the equipment and thought about what to do. After a couple of seconds, he started digging and prying up the play dough with a front loader. Then he switched to smoothing the play dough back down with a roller.  The play dough easily flattened out and filled the hole he had created.

Excavating Play Dough

Excavating play dough was fun too. Digging holes through the play dough landscape required manipulating the scoop carefully to pick the play dough up.

Pushing and Lifting Play Dough
After awhile the play dough was pushed to the far end of the toaster over tray to be picked up by a dump truck. It took a lot of pushing to get it all moved into a couple of clumps that could be carried away.

What I like about this activity!

There are several things I really like about this activity. The first is that it was open ended. JDaniel could choose to construct or deconstruct the construction site. The second is the fine motor work that he had to do as he dug into the construction site.  The third is the imaginative play aspect. I sat with JDaniel as he worked and he described to me the various events that were taking place on the site. I guess the fourth aspect is oral communication practice. Hearing what my son was thinking was so much fun.
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  1. says

    My son used to be CRAZY for trucks and construction equipment back in the day. I used to know the names of so many machines from reading him book after book on the subject.

    I love watching my kids in imaginative play. It’s just so wonderful to see how their minds work! –Lisa

  2. says

    my boys love trucks and playdough. Our boys would have so much fun together:-) I love all the bright colors of the playdough. It is so much fun to listen to them as they play:-)

  3. says

    I was so the Playdough Nazi! Only in the kitchen on the tile floor on a special table and then when they started preschool it became an “only at school” thing. I picked too much out of places it wasn’t supposed to be!

  4. says

    My daughter would love everything about this! I’m sure my son will too soon. He’s just at the metting point of being a baby and a toddler. He seems to LOVE trucks so far. His toys and the ones he sees in person. His eyes widen at the big ones. The cake you made is fabulous! I love the candy corn as orange cones. I think that’s brilliant!

  5. says

    we have the same tractor set…
    actually 2 of them. he used to play with them in the sandbox… but i think he would LOVE to play with them in playdoh… need to go buy more i guess 😉
    great idea .. thanks as always

    • Deirdre says

      For a long time we read books about construction equipment and learned with construction equipment.

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