My new obsession - play dough mats! I just discovered them and they are fantastic!
I try to free up planning time by going "no prep" when possible, but for some students, tactile materials are an absolute must. While I love my velcro activities and toy sets, there are only so many hours in the day. It's great to have an activity that is as simple as: print, laminate (or drop in a sheet protector), and go! In addition, it's easy to work in a lot of fun language concepts and goals using play dough, which is motivating for many students. (These can also be used with other materials, such as dry erase markers, beads, sensory foam, and so on.)
This set is for early language concepts. Students add play dough or another material to fill in missing parts of the picture scene.
On page one, work on word combinations such as:
Hat on, yellow flower, sun up
On page two, work on prepositions as you make something to put:
IN the wheelbarrow, IN the store, IN the tractor, IN the barn
On page 3, work on subject-verb-object combinations by making food for the animals and creating phrases such as "Dog eats bone"
On the last page, add different colored apples to the apple tree and baskets and count them!
For any of these activities there is a lot of room to elaborate, for example, by working on concept words such as big/little and smooth/bumpy, by talking about object positions (next to the barn, under the tree,) or by creating your own stories with the scenes!
Clip art credit: