Right brain math with playdough

El (2y4m) wanted to work with playdough today, so we did some right brain math at the same time.

We’ve a small mould that makes spiders. He wanted to use that. I rolled the dough into small balls while he printed them.

As he completes a new one, I’d point to the total number of spiders and say the quantity aloud.

The spiders are arranged randomly, similar to random dot flashcards.

Examples of what I said:

“9 spiders. There are 9 spiders.”


At this stage for him, he’d want to parrot after me.

I said the quantity in English, Chinese and Malay for multi-language input.

(Dr. Maria Montessori observed that it’s important to correct the child’s pronunciation by around 2 years old.)

He proceeded to make more spiders with another colour. This is a chance to say addition equations aloud.

“9 + 10 = 19. There are 19 spiders.”

right brain math playdough

Finally he returned the spiders by sorting into colours.

Grouping and sorting are important preschool math skills.

right brain math playdough

Notice that the activities are child-led. I simply followed his cue and extended by providing language and math input.

In the process, he also worked on fine motor skills and visual art (colours, shapes, forms).

However, if the child prefers to work in peace at that moment, then refrain from giving input. The more you interact, the better you’d understand his learning style.

Happy teaching!

P.S. Check out my workshops here

2 thoughts on “Right brain math with playdough”

  1. hi, where did you buy the big transparent tray? i think i need 1 for the play doh & sand castle as my kids alw mess around, thx

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