While many people may associate the winter months with grey, dreary colors, we think that if you look carefully, there are beautiful colors all around!
Some of the most beautiful trees that stay green through winter are evergreen trees. Cedar, Fir, Pine, and Hemlock trees stay green all year long and offer some much needed color on wintery days. We love looking at the different shades of green, and want to invite children to explore these beautiful trees by making prints in homemade playdough. We decided to make blue playdough to match another winter color, the blue shadows that we observe on snowy days. Here, we invite you to make a sensory invitation that you can leave out for many days as children explore the plants of winter.
Set up Time: 10 minutes
- Go outside with children and collect pieces of evergreen trees. We gathered some branches, leaves, and pinecones. If you know the names of some of the trees, share them with the children. Note: Always ask permission to cut branches!
- Make your light blue playdough. Check out our Best Basic Playdough recipe in the search bar for directions.
- Make a sensory bin with your materials. Invite children to make prints of the materials. Add a plastic container with a lid to your play so that children can store the playdough and return to play with the materials for many days.
- Collected natural materials
Learning Through Play
Cognitive: Memory – This activity, though simple, helps to draw children’s attention to the flora and fauna around them. Do you live in a place with a lot of evergreens? Understanding plant life where we live is a great way to give children a sense of place and belonging. Many years from now, they may associate specific trees, smells, and sensations with a beautiful childhood.
Social-Emotional: Independence – As you can see in the picture, we have created a special tray with these materials. Be sure to always have some independent sensory materials on hand that children can seek out and play with when they desire to. Show them how the play dough needs to stay in the tray and how to store it to keep it from drying out. These little acts of responsibility and trust help to instill confidence in young children.
School Readiness: Sorting – Learning about different types of plants is a fantastic way to teach children about sorting! Since the dawn of time, humans have had a close relationship with plants, whether we are learning what we can eat, what we can use to build, or simple what is beautiful. So take time to learn about evergreens as a celebration of beautiful colors in winter.
See this activity in the Rayz Kidz app along with the other fun activities. Rayz Kidz is your trusted source for play-based activities featuring over 100 themes and 500+ hands-on activities and clear descriptions of the beautiful learning that is happening through play.