I like to use play dough with the girls for counting and learning their numbers. The twins are three and are really interested in using numbers when they are playing and starting to recognise a few. I wanted to work on their 1:1 correspondence (when you point to the object as you say the number) and work on them recognising the numbers in a fun way.
We made two lots of play dough. Green and brown. As this was Christmas themed I added a little bit of fir needle essential oil and some green food colouring and glitter.
I gave the girls a selection of glittery embellishments to use when they were counting, a rolling pin and Christmas tree cutter and some numbers.
The twins love rolling play dough and we sang the O’Christmas Tree song while they did it as they took quite a long time.
We looked at each number and chose the right amount of objects to go on each tree. Charlotte was more into this activity than Rose. She is really into counting at the moment and loved choosing what would go on each tree.
Once the trees were lined up we counted them again and checked the objects matched the number.
While we were doing this Rose had her own ideas. She had no interest in making Christmas trees (well it is a bit early!) She wanted to make her favourite princess Sleeping Beauty. This is what she made without any help – except for the wool hair which was my suggestion. I love the 0 for the mouth.
Charlotte liked her idea so much that when we had finished with the trees she made a princess too. Hers is Rapunzel. It’s so interesting seeing how little ones work – she copied the feet but had her own idea for the face wanting me to find googly eyes and ribbon for the mouth.
Rose decided she preferred her sister’s method of making a face and changed hers to have googly eyes and a ribbon too. I love the fact they still used the numbers. They decided that this was the age of the princess and we had to sing Happy Birthday to each one.
This is the reason I love to be with three year olds. Adults and older children are so institutionalised. They are given a Christmas tree cutter and green play dough and they make Christmas trees. Little ones are free to use their large capacity for imagination in their own innovative way. Sometimes it’s hard to go with it. My first thought was to be a bit peeved Rose didn’t want to make Christmas trees. But how could I be for long when I saw what she did make? Anyway I got some sneaky learning in – of course we had to count the buttons and her feet and the bows in her hair and count up using our fingers how old she was on our fingers. Happy days!
For all our Christmas ideas for kids check out our round up.