Squish, smash, twist, turn…mess.
We have all had experiences with playdough, whether in our own childhood or with our own children. But outside of simple messy play, what exactly is playdough good for?
While some may find this surprising, play dough has a wide array of developmental, learning, and sensory benefits for kids. This is why playdough is a staple in almost every early childhood classroom. Its versatility makes playdough one of those items that should be a part of every childhood.
What Playdough Teaches Kids
Fine Motor Skills: This helps in your children’s hands develop the strength, dexterity, and control needed to manipulate everyday items such as scissors, pencils, zippers, and buttons.
Socioemotional Skills: Playdough provides a lot of open-ended opportunities for children to experience independent and cooperative play. In both styles of play, children are exploring abilities, life experiences, and emotions. During play with others (either an adult or child) children are learning about cooperation, collaboration, self-control, and friendships.
Creativity: From dramatic play to initiating and creating whatever your child’s imagination can come up with, playdough is a fantastic outlet. Playdough can be anything!
Language and Literacy: As children discuss what they are creating or their sensory experiences they are expanding their vocabulary. As you ask your child questions they are learning to listen. There are so many different ways children learn comprehension, listening, and communication skills through playing with playdough.
Science and Math: Trial and error, creating shapes, comparing sizes – just simply playing with playdough exposes kids to a vast array of math and science concepts.
Sensory Benefits of Play Dough
Hand Strengthening: Squishing, smashing, pushing, pulling, twisting, cutting…all the fun of playdough. Just the basic act of playing with playdough builds those hands muscles. Playdough also comes in a variety of different consistencies some of which require more strength than others to manipulate making it fairly easy to meet individual needs.
Proprioceptive: Pushing in cookie cutters or toys, pulling back a rolling pin, or even just squeezing a very stiff dough all provide deep pressure input for your child’s joints.
Sensorimotor: Ever just sit there and squeeze/roll around a ball of play dough in your hands while your child sat there and played? A lot like a stress ball, play dough is a stress reliever. And this works for your kids too!
Tactile: Everything about playdough at the most basic level is about exploring using the tactile sensory system. From textures to consistencies, to toys and items used, playdough is all about hands-on exploration.
Olfactory: Adding scents to playdough is ridiculously easy and one of our favorite things to do! For some simple ideas check out the links below.
These are a Few of Our Favorite Play Dough Toys
|Bottle Tops||Garlic Masher|
|Plastic Animals||Mr. Potato Head Pieces|
|Melon Baller||Matchbox Cars|
Play Dough Recipes and Play Ideas for Kids
What if I told you that you could make playdough without flour, salt, oil, or cream of tartar? Now what if I told you that you could also make this playdough without cooking it? This simple flourless playdough recipe is one of my all time favorite and a complete game changer for making playdough at
Get in the holiday spirit with this fun Gingerbread Playdough No Cook Recipe! This homemade playdough smells absolutely lovely and is as soft as can be! Playdough is one of my favorite activities to do with the kids. It’s low mess, has endless possibilities, and playdough is jammed packed with developmental benefits. Recipe for Gingerbread
This Build a Turkey Play Dough Kit is an awesome boredom buster for kids! This simple Thanksgiving busy box is perfect for taking on the go to keep your child entertained during Holiday outings. Every year for the holidays we bounce from house to house to make sure we get to spend the holidays with
My kids love making play dough at home. It is seriously one of their favorite things. This week we were challenged to make a no cook lemon scented play dough – it turned out absolutely fantastic! Items Needed for No Cook Lemon Scented Play Dough 1 cup of Flour 1-2 Lemons 1 cup Hot Water
This color changing playdough recipe is super easy to make and one that your kids will love! With math, science, and sensory all wrapped up into one activity you have to try making this thermochromic playdough at home! Play dough is one of our favorite sensory materials to make at home. It’s quick to make,
Learn how to naturally dye homemade playdough using dandelions with this simple tutorial + video. Inside of this post we will show you how to create a vibrant yellow play dough using simple ingredients that you have around your home. Spring is finally here and with the sunshine, my kids are bringing me dandelions by
One of my absolute favorite scents of the summer is watermelon so when it came time to make a batch of play dough for us to use this week, I just could not pass up making some Homemade Watermelon Play Dough. Playdough is a fantastic fine motor activity without adding in any of the “extras”
Homemade Play Dough is one of our absolutely favorite quiet time activities and with this month being birthday month for two of my kids we just could not pass up some cupcake making pretend play! This Birthday Cake Play Dough Recipe took us less than 10 minutes to make and led to hours of creative
You’re going to love this hazelnut scented, textured play dough. It smells great, is easy to make and is taste-safe. It’s a fun way to do something a little different for your sensory play. It doesn’t matter how many times we make play dough – the boys love it! I try to make different play
It’s common among kids to think playdough is the best thing since sliced bread. They will especially love this taste safe pumpkin playdough recipe! My kids definitely love any kind of playdough that comes their way. It’s squishy, it feels cool in their hands, and they can mold it into anything they want! It’s so
Using playdough to spell is a great way to help your child gain a deeper understanding of the way words work through hands-on explorations, sorting words, and identifying patterns. Not only Play Dough Spelling a fun activity that your kids will love, it will also take learning and their ability to retain what they are
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Earlier this week I had a crazy idea and it worked. It’s not too often that they do. This simple no-cook recipe on How to Make Playdough with Skittles is so easy even my three-year-old could make it! How We Came Up With Making Skittles Playdough (because this story deserves to be told) My daughter
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