You know that we can’t possibly make it through a new preschool theme without incorporating some sort of play dough invitation. There are so many benefits of playing with play dough AND the kids love it so much that it’s a win all around! After our construction theme slime was such a crowd pleaser we tested out mixing up our own version of cement play dough. We all had tons of fun with this Construction Site Play Dough Invitation. Use it as part of a larger construction or community helpers theme or set it up as a fun activity anytime for little ones who love construction vehicles or building.
Construction Site Play Dough Invitation
See it in Action
Take a minute to watch this quick video about some of the ways the kids were inspired to play with this construction site play dough invitation.
Make your own Construction Site Play Dough
Now let’s learn how to make your own construction site play dough so your kids can get in on the fun too!
- “Cement” Play Dough-I started with a simple play dough recipe. To get the gray coloring for our dough I added gray acrylic paint to the boiling water before mixing it with the other ingredients. A little goes a long way! The paint does make the dough a bit more wet than most of our play dough, but I thought it worked well with the intent of this invitation. If you don’t like it, cut back on the amount of paint or add extra flour if you’ve already added the paint.
- Small wooden blocks
- White navy beans
- River rocks and glass gems
- Small construction vehicles
If your children are new to construction vocabulary, be sure to spend some time reading some books about the different kinds of construction vehicles, engineering, and construction sites to help develop that vocabulary and background knowledge.
Pretend Play with the Construction Site Play Dough Invitation
Now that you’ve got everything ready it’s time to site back and watch the play unfold! You’ll notice a lot of early childhood skills woven into the activities kids choose to do with this play dough invitation.
They’ll likely start by pressing out the dough and experiment with rolling the different vehicles over it to smooth out their construction site surface.
As they do theses things they are working on their fine motor skills, and they’ll also likely notice the different imprints and designs that the vehicle wheels leave behind.
They might pinch and load bits of cement onto some of the vehicles.
As they do they are working on that pincer grasp and experimenting with capacity and measurement when they test out just how much dough they need to fill each vehicle.
Then they might start experimenting with building their own structures.
They’ll transport blocks and use their cement play dough to help secure different blocks together as they make new structures.
As they do they are learning about properties of matter and how to create something new out of smaller parts. They are also learning to test out different strategies as they try to create structures that are stable enough to stand alone.
They may even start doing a bit of counting.
Here the navy bean “boulders” were sprinkled on the cement. As kids tried to pick them up and load them in the truck they started counting to see how many would fill the truck.
A fantastic and authentic way to practice counting!
And finally! What’s a construction theme without a bit of demolition?
Here the kids build towers using the larger river rocks and cement dough. As they did they practiced patterning by alternating between rocks and dough, and they worked on creating structures that would balance on their own.
Then it was time for their favorite part…demolition! They knowed their towers over and built them back up over and over again.
I bet your kids will come up with even more fun ways to play with this construction site play dough invitation!
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