Children love to mold, squish, roll and flatten play dough! I know that play dough drives some parents crazy- no matter how hard you try, the play dough gets stuck on the bottom of shoes and gets tracked throughout the house, but there are numerous benefits for children while they are exploring play dough!
While children are exploring play dough and molding it into different shapes they are building the strength up in their hands. When children are squishing, rolling, flattening and more they are developing muscles in their hands for fine motor movements they will need for pencil grip and scissor control. Children gain more control over their hand and arm movements which improve coordination.
Play dough is calming for children. Squeezing play dough can help ease tension, release excess energy, improve focus and express emotions.
Play dough encourages creativity and builds a child’s imagination and self esteem. There is no right or wrong way to use play dough.
Play dough enhances hand eye coordination. By adding tools to play dough such as scissors, rolling pins and cookie cutters in different sizes develop eye-hand coordination by forcing children to manipulate materials to fit their ideas.
Play dough improves social skills as children interact, collaborate and share materials and ideas. Play dough fosters cooperative play, as children share space and materials.
Play dough supports literacy and numeracy as children can count, talk about shapes, descriptions of what they are making or building. Dividing play dough up is useful to help children learn about numbers and counting.
Play dough promotes playtime and is a fun way to break away from technology. Play dough is open ended, it can be ANYTHING- food, faces, animals, shapes, etc.
I believe that the benefits of play dough outweigh the messiness! It is so FUN to squish, mold, roll and manipulate play dough!
My favorite play dough recipe is …..
Mix:2 cups of flour
1 cup of salt
1 tablespoon of alum (Found in the spice section at the store)
Add all at Once:
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 cups boiling water
Knead and let sit for a few minutes and you’re ready for hours of fun!
Anne Q. l Master Teacher