Playdough and littles never gets old. It is such a lovely tactile and sensory experience and there are so many different ways to use it. I have never been a fan of store-bought playdough and I always make my own. It lasts longer and I find the consistency more pleasing. It is really easy to make and I will add the recipe below.
While manipulating the playdough by rolling, pulling, poking, and squishing, children are working their small muscles in their hands. This improves and develops fine motor skills. It is a sensory experience so they engage their senses. We know that children learn through these. It is a wonderful social experience if they are engaging in the activity with friends. They learn to share, taking turns and playing with others. It provides opportunities for them to experiment and use different techniques and ways to make and do things. This develops basic numeracy concepts and problem-solving skills. It is wonderful for creativity and imaginative play. It also creates many topics of conversation which builds on language and literacy skills. The benefits are endless.
We made two colour batches of playdough and have done a few activities with them since.
- Fantasy Play – I put out some blue and green play dough, Tate’s wild animals, some trees and a rock. We discussed the animals at the watering hole and I assisted her in creating the water and the grass. She then went on to place the animals and got in to a whole game of the animals running on the grass and splashing in the water. She placed the trees and rock where she thought they should go and moved them around as she needed to. I left this out for her for the afternoon and she returned to play a couple of times.
- Play dough mats – I have made and printed some play dough mats which I take out every now and again which are aimed at certain skills. These two are rolling “spots” for the lady bird and rolling “sausages” for the butterfly’s wings. These are hard skills and she struggles but practice makes perfect and no matter what the balls or sausages look like, her small muscles are still working and developing.
- Puzzle rescue – Tate loves these activities. I do them often. It is easy to throw together and she really enjoys “rescuing” the pieces. I roll the playdough into balls around the puzzle pieces and she pulls them apart to release them and places them where they belong on the board. You can also do this with shape sorters, blocks and lego.
- Roller and cookie cutters – the set up doesn’t always have to be fancy and planned out. Sometimes a simpleset up of a roller and some cookie cutters is the most effective. It gives them loads of opportunities to create, explore and work those little hands. Often Tate is engaged for longer when she is just left to be.
How to make home-made playdough: (see shopping list above for ingredients)
- Mix all the dry ingredients.
- Mix all the wet ingredients in a jug. (Add food colouring and oils for smell if you want)
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix as well as you can. IT IS HOT!
- As soon as it cools start kneading it on a smooth surface.
- Cover with cling wrap and let it set for a few minutes.
- Store in an airtight container. Depending on how much you use it, this should last a good few months.
So, there it is. Simple, easy and hours of fun while developing very essential skills in your littles. Take 20min to make it and let them play for days while you enjoy hot coffee. 😊 Happy Playing moms and littles!
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I so look forward to sharing more with you soon! Love Jen and Tate