Young children can benefit from play dough, or any sort of dough, in a variety of ways for their development. Here are some examples of how wonderful it is, broken down into the developmental fields it aids.
Play dough’s pliable qualities make it enjoyable for enquiry and exploration while also covertly strengthening all of the small hand muscles and tendons, preparing them for pencil and scissor control later. Play dough manipulation exercises hand muscles and coordination by allowing children to poke in and pull out things.
It can be rolled, flattened, chopped, cut, scored, scraped, punctured, poked, and shredded as part of simple, tactile play. Along with hand-eye coordination, overall concentration, and each of these activities in a different way, they all help with the development of fine motor skills. The advantages and opportunities for creative play increase each time you add a new component to it. These are the supplies we always have on hand for play dough like playdough stampers. The girls can ask for any or all of these to be added to the dough because we keep them all in jam jars in the cupboard.
The play and inquiry opportunities are infinite when there are a variety of accessories available to employ. Stick poking offers a challenge and a chance to learn a new physical ability. As well as requiring a gross motor action to complete, pressing through a garlic press inspires astonishment and delight at how it changes shape. Sticking spaghetti in calls for a deft touch and may result in threading and piling pasta shapes or beads on top.
Offering boxes and containers with sections of varied shapes can encourage cooking play, sorting, matching, ordering, and counting without putting any pressure on children to study. Children can engage with the world and have multi-sensory experiences by having access to natural objects with a variety of textures, colors, and shapes.
Play dough transforms into the ideal medium for many different types of imaginative play and may represent so many different things in a child’s eyes as soon as you add open ended play items to the mix. Birthday party role-play, candle counting, and singing come naturally when a jar of candles and cupcake cases are present. Glass pebbles and shells can inspire imaginative small world play by the sea that includes mermaid and sea monster tales.
Anyone who has played with dough as an adult knows how relaxing and therapeutic the consequences of all that squeezing and pounding can be. Using dough while talking and singing can be a particularly effective way to help young children who may find it difficult to communicate their emotions. It truly encourages youngsters to unwind and is the ideal activity to do after a hard day at school or preschool or after a nap.