Today’s activities focus around the fun things you can do with playdough, putty, and slime.
The cool thing about these activites, is even if you currently don’t have them, they are easy to make at home, and it’s easy to find things around the house to manipulate the dough/putty with.
Enhances fine motor skill
When your child squishes, rolls, flattens, shapes, scores or cuts play dough, he develops and strengthen his hand muscles. The strengthened hand muscles helps improve fine motor skills of your child
Improves pre-writing skills
When your child plays with play dough, his pincer grip (the squeezing of pointer finger and thumb to grasp an object) improves. An improved pincer grip enhances your child’s pre-writing skills
Creativity and imagination
Play-dough provides your child with unlimited possibilities of moulding the dough into food, animals, decorations, flowers etc. Thereby, it encourages your child to use his imagination and inspires his creativity. If your child uses various shapes, rolling pins and other tools while playing with play dough it further improves his creative imagination.
Is your child often restless and finds it difficult to express his emotions? Give him some play dough to play. Sitting at one place and squishing and squashing of play dough will have a very calming and soothing effect on him. It will also provide him with great option to express his emotions
Develops hand – eye coordination
Use of variety of shapes and rolling pins while playing with play-dough will improve your child’s hand-eye-coordination
When your child plays with play-dough along with other siblings or you they will interact, talk, discuss problems and find solutions to creating great works of art and craft with play dough. Thus, playing with play dough will enhance your child’s social skills
Increases curiosity and knowledge
When your child mixes 2 different colour dough together and discover a new colour or when he learns to mould play dough in different shapes, it encourages his curiosity and he will ask various questions which would help increase his knowledge and help overall development So the next time your child requests you to play with play dough, not only encourage him, participate in his play along with him to help him learn the most from use play-dough.
While playdough is absolutely fantastic, I prefer using putty for Everett. The resistance is higher, so it’s much better at strengthening his hand muscles and it requires a little extra finesse, so it’s more of a challenge in general. Fun & Function offers some really amazing putty options and some really cool putty hide & seek pieces. They also have a not super slimey slime kit that it’s a bit more challenging than playdough, but not quite as hard as putty.
Although this time of play is only limited by your imagination and time constraints, I do have a couple cool activities that I like to do with the kids.
Hide & Seek
For hide & seek, find small toys around the house and hide it in your playdough. I usually use around 10 small toys. I’ve used everything from the cherries in HiHo Cherry-O to aquatic animals.
As your child finds the items, have them describe them to you. What type of item is it? What is it’s color/shape? How many items have you found so far? And so on.
Make sure that they remove the playdough in it’s entirety from the objects-this helps them with their fine motor control and helps contain the mess!
Animal Skeltons are super easy! You just need pasta noodles or toothpicks and playdough. Honestly, if you don’t have pasta or toothpicks, you could probably get creative and find other things around your home to use in a pinch.
Have your child pick an animal, roll out your dough so you have a nice flat surface, and have them make the general shape of the animal.
Ask them questions about the animal. What’s it’s name? Where does it live? Is it living, extinct, or made up? What does it eat? And so on.
This activity is so versatile. You can really do this just about any way that you need to to challenge your child. You can make letters, words, shapes, numbers, simple math problems, and so on. You can also have them form using the actual dough to shape or trace on the dough using something like a toothpick.
Which activity was your favorite? Comment below!