I love playing with play dough.
Yes, I’m already an adult, but I still love playing with it.
And now that I’m a teacher, I love it even more.
In my classroom, there’s always a long line for play dough during free play.
Every kid wants to have a piece of the colorful and moldable dough. And every day, I would see a variety of imaginary stuff made of dough.
Of course, number one is the ball- because, you know, it’s obvious. Second is the pizza- because well, from the ball, you just flatten on it, and there you have it. A pizza! Third is the worm- long, short, thin, think, fat, with a head, without ahead, one worm, two worms, three worms… I mean, seriously, I’ve seen all types of worms in different quantities and colors.
So one day, I thought I’d help my students step up their play dough game. I sat with them and I also played with the play dough.
I was minding my own business. I was pounding, squishing, rolling, the works! I had a grand plan of making my very own Transformers robot.
I honestly can’t wait for my students to see my awesome work.
I’m pretty sure they’ll tell me I’m cool.
And I’ll just shrug it off and in my head I’ll say, “I know, right!”
But my super awesome Transformers robot didn’t materialize.
My students kept taking from my pile of play dough. And I can’t complain because I was the one who that sharing is caring.
So from then on, I just let them make whatever they want to make.
I changed tactic instead. To make the most of their play dough time, I started interviewing them about their work.
It was that day that I realized for the hundredth time that play dough is really a fantastic educational toy that every classroom and household should have.
That is why just recently, I introduced the play dough to my nephew. It was a homemade one. The recipe is simple and it’s actually taste-safe.
As expected, Seb took a taste-test before playing with it. Well, he didn’t like the salty taste so he just played with it.
And he loved it!
I’m glad that he enjoyed playing with it because there’s definitely tons of benefits from playing with play dough.
Here are the Top 5 Benefits of Playing with Play Dough.
1. Strengthens Fine Motor Skills
Squishing, rolling, pounding, sculpting and flattening the play dough is a wonderful exercise for children’s tiny hands.
Every time they work on the play dough, they are strengthening their fine motor muscles- which will help them succeed in school tasks such as writing and cutting when they come of school-age.
2. Promotes Creativity and Imagination
Yes, there is more play dough than ball, pizza and worms. The possibilities are actually endless.
And the more materials that you provide them- like cookie cutter, rolling pin and other props, the more inspired and motivated they’ll get.
3. Develops Communication Skills
I suggest interviewing your child as she plays. This way she gets to verbalize her thoughts and she gets to practice sentence construction. You may also get to help her with her vocabulary, too!
4. Promotes Social Skills
This is especially true for a group setting. As they play together, they get to practice taking turns, sharing, problem solving and planning.
5. Incorporates Literacy and Numeracy
It’s very easy to introduce lessons to children through play. You may teach them about the alphabets by asking them to form the letters with the play dough. Or you may ask them to count using it.
Just as children are using their imaginations as they play. As adults, we should be creative in inventing ways to teach them without them being aware of it.
Be a Ninja!
So those are the top 5 benefits of playing with play dough. I hope you’re convinced to include this activity in your child’s routine.
As for us, Seb will definitely see more of this play dough stuff.
We actually plan to make different varieties of it.
If you have special play dough recipe, like a scented one or glow-in-the-dark or whatever cool version you have, please let me know about it through the comment box below. I would really appreciate it. <3
Oh, and please visit my Free Printable Page for more!
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