Sunday, August 28, 2016
We make a great home made version of play dough that is soft and pliable, but not crumbly. I will post recipe later.
Why do we do play dough? The full answer is rather lengthy, but I will put an abbreviated version here. Play dough offers great sensory input, the softness, pliability, scent, and color all make play dough an activity that can sooth an anxious child, and help calm their sensory overload too. It is a great activity to bring a child in to when they first come in the room and are unsure what to do first. It can give them the time to organize their thoughts so they can choose their next activity.
Play dough is great for fine motor development, those fine finger muscles which will need to hold pencils to write. I have also seen children who could not write their name be able to form the letters out of play dough and then immediately become able to write their name.
Play dough is a great social, communication activity, between children or an adult with a child. They also build their confidence as they are able to make something. Children who may not comfortably engage in conversation can talk about the butterfly they made or the cookie and adults can extend that conversation into what kind of cookie?, do you bake cookies? What is your favorite kind of cookie? Let's count how many we made....etc.
You can use play dough for letter formation, a math activity, such as counting, adding, subtracting, even patterning.
We make play dough to go along with colors and smells for various seasons too, orange pumpkin scented in fall, peppermint white play dough in January.
It is easy to make play dough at home and just give your child cookie cutters, straws, any small kitchen utensil, plastic knives, Legos, or other small easily washable toys. You can put it on a tray or cookie sheet while you make dinner and your child can happily play nearby.