Reading Enrichment with Play-Doh and Star Wars

With school back in session, I wanted to share one of the many activities that we’ve been doing to sharpen and enhance Biggie’s reading skills.

Because of his late September birthday, we redshirted our five year old and thus, I’ve been vigilant about bridging the transition to Kindergarten. I have much to say about redshirting and transitional kindergarten in general, but I’ll save that for another day. Today, it’s all about Play-Doh and Star Wars.

Reading enrichment comes in many forms, but for one rainy afternoon, we paired Play-Doh and Star Wars to engage in a hands-on reading activity that just happened to focus on Biggie’s favorite characters. I let J flip through one of his favorite books right now, which is a DK Readers Level One book called Who Saved the Galaxy? by Catherine Saunders. Since he’s not quite reading fluidly on his own, I love the fact that this book has characters he loves and can decipher words with graphic help. Not to mention, it’s a well known tactic that familiar characters engage beginning readers. In our case, my beginning reader is most interested in things like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, space and Star Wars.

For this project, we used Play-Doh’s new Ultimate Rainbow Pack. The wide range of colors makes this activity fun since the novelty of new colors and variety keeps J interested in the task at hand. Once he picked his colors, he used various cutters to cut out letters for characters like Luke Skywalker.

We moved on to other characters and even picked colors that matched the characters color scheme; yellow and brown complemented C 3P0 quite perfectly!

To change it up, we decided to roll letters, which also works on those fine motor skills, and is important for proper writing utensil handling. By rolling the letters, I found that it was a great way to better understand letter formation since he had to manipulate pieces to form the letters.

Our most favorite part of this project was making a model of R2D2. This project was a fun way to work together to create something we both like! To work further on those fine motor skills, I let J cut out the tiny buttons that make up R2D2’s robotic exterior. I helped J to make the formation of R2D2 himself, but allowed him to make the final touches of all the pieces.

By pairing Play-Doh and Star Wars, not only were we able to keep occupied and have fun on a rainy afternoon, but we made Play-Doh educational by twisting it into a reading activity. Play-Doh isn’t the cleanest activity, so I’d suggest using Glad Press and Seal for easy clean up. To make Play-Doh an educational activity on our own, just grab your favorite book, pull words and play away. The more accessories, colors and words, the better!

I’m so sure teachers do activities like this in school, but for us at home, it’s a great way to sharpen reading skills and express creativity by bringing our favorite characters to life via Play-Doh and Vine!

Full disclosure:  we were provided with a sample of Play-Doh, but we used our own creativity for this fun project.  As always, all opinions are my own.

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