Pizza Dough Playdough

Credit for this genius idea is due to my fabulous coworker, but I had to share because our students are having SO much fun making, topping, and delivering pizzas all over the classroom...

Introducing seasoned "pizza dough" playdough! This stuff literally smells just like pizza but, unlike real pizza dough, it keeps well and isn't sticky. And (applause) no one has eaten it! ...yet.

Our little pizza shop made for a lot of great language including sequencing, vocabulary, recall, and some really wonderful peer interactions. We practiced taking friends' orders and using tools to roll and shape the dough.

Our 'pizza toppings' were added using pieces from this Melissa & Doug set. The kids 'baked' their pizzas in our play oven and packed them for 'delivery' into empty boxes from our local pizza shop.

You can make your own pizza dough playdough using any cream of tartar recipe (via Pinteresthereherehere). Just skip the food coloring and substitute some garlic powder and Italian Seasoning.

How are you spicing up (literally!) your playdough play?

Rubber Glove Finger Puppets

Thanks to some "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" inspiration and printables courtesy of this post from Crazy Speech World and some double-screening (a simultaneous internet+tv evening... can I call that multitasking??) on the couch that led me to this pin, my students have some new and fun little finger puppets. 

Hot glue and rubber gloves can be friends - melty messes excluded. I used a pair of rubber cleaning gloves from the dollar store and some hot glue on the textured side to attach them to thermally laminated pictures.

Suuuuper easy, and more interactive than magnetic or felt board story props (especially when the kids get to wear them). For this story/song, I fastened the bed to a wooden block and used my hand behind it to make the monkeys "jump." 

How are you changing up your story, song, or nursery rhyme props? Leave a comment with your ideas!

Preschool to the Rescue!

As we end our unit on animals and move into 'My Community,' I thought I would share a couple of materials to go along with our most popular read of the school year, Preschool to the Rescue.

My preschool students have fun yelling out the silly words that the mud makes each time it takes a new vehicle captive, and I made visual word bubbles to go along with them. These proved to be an easy and quick way to incorporate some articulation practice since I could pass out the bubbles to kiddos working on each specific beginning sound. During the story, students stand up and shout out their word.

Grab a copy of the Preschool to the Rescue word bubbles here. I printed them on thick cardstock, cut out, laminated, and attached each one to a popsicle stick.

I like to use "listing" books like Preschool to the Rescue (another example in this previous post) early in the school year because the vocabulary is very concrete (nouns, basic verbs, a few prepositions or adjectives) and they are easy to sequence and retell in order. For a story retell activity, we mixed corn syrup and brown tempera paint to create our own icky, sticky mud puddles. One by one, the (die-cut) pizza van, police car, tow truck, backhoe, and fire engine got stuck in the "deeper-than-you'd-think" mud puddle.

I made a rebus to glue onto each picture for a visual support to help the students sequence and tell the story at home.

You can download my Preschool to the Rescue rebus here.

I'm currently on the hunt for some other great preschool books related to the broad concepts of community helpers and transportation - what are your favorites?