I haven't had play dough out for a while although I've had this activity in my mind for a while. I finally mixed up a batch of chocolate playdough yesterday and put this out in the classroom this morning. As I predicted, the children really enjoyed this work and it reinforces what we've been learning in our plants unit.
I usually set the playdough up on a table instead of having it set up for children to carry from the shelf. I have been adding a bottle of hand sanitizer for them to use before handling the dough. In the photo below from the top and going clockwise are: a container with the "dirt" dough (I only put about half of the batch of homemade playdough in the container), a box with a rolling pin, flower pots, and a spoon for "digging" the dirt out of the pots, a bucket with carrots to plant, a basket with flowers to plant, and the bottle of hand sanitizer.
The flowers are flower picks which I bought in the floral/wedding section of Michael's. I know they have these at Hobby Lobby too. They are perfect for this work because they are very lightweight, but the wire stems are sturdy enough for them to stay upright in the dough without falling over.
I found the teeny terra cotta flower pots in the floral section of Michael's. HobLob has similar ones. Today we found that the dough really sticks to the inside so I added a spoon to help scoop out the dough.
I've had these wooden carrots forever and can't tell you a source. They were originally on a jute rope and I think were part of an Easter swag decoration. I cut them off the rope for this activity. You can see the little bumps of rope on the sides.
Here is a flower garden that was planted in our classroom this morning.