Are your kids fascinated with robots? There’s something about them that kids are naturally curious about, so it’s fun to use a robot theme for preschool or at home. We recently put together a full week of robot-inspired lesson plans, and this robot play dough invitation is one of the activities we developed for the theme. It’s a great activity for the classroom or home.
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- Silver Play Dough (We used our go-to play dough recipe and added silver paint and a lot of silver glitter)
- Nuts, bolts and washers
- Red and silver pony beads
- Googly eyes
- Red and silver tinsel stems
- Paper clips
- Silver jewelry rings
In addition to the materials above I set out some rolling play dough cutters so the kids could cut their robots into any shape they wanted. We also used aluminum foil as our work mats for this invitation for a little extra robot-inspired twist. You can tape the corners of the foil down to keep it from moving too much, or you could also use silver cookie sheets instead.
I thought the girls would make 3D standing robots, but the dough cutters seemed to inspire them to create 2D robots the first time the played with the invitation.
If you think play dough is just for preschool, I’d encourage you to offer play dough invitations to school age kids as well.
As kids get older and have more and more experiences with creating, you’ll see new details added. Here my 7 year old added a bow to her robot, a “toy” the robot is playing with and a full “outfit.”
My 5 year old also loved adding accessories to her robot. She added hair, earrings, and buttons for each of her robot’s functions. And of course the robot has three fingers, because, “Mom, robots have three fingers.” Did you know that?!
And if you’re thinking, “Ummm! I have three year olds who are just going to make a mountain of dough and stick stuff in it.” That’s okay, too! It’s part of the learning process, and the more opportunities they have to engage with invitations like this, the more their story telling and details will develop.
Later the kids did end up making some standing robots. That’s one reason I always like to provide multiple opportunities for kids to interact with the same materials. Each time they play they seem to attempt new things and learn even more than if I had only provided a single opportunity for play.
If you do this activity, I’d love to know which way your kids built their robots first! Let me know in the comments.
A Full Week of Robot Fun
Continue learning about robots with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provide different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
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