Play dough is messy, it's squishy and it's also A LOT OF FUN!
It's one of those inexpensive toys that promotes unlimited creativity and can provide hours of fun. It's no wonder it's so popular with young children and those young at heart.
Allowing children to play with play dough can be extremely beneficial for their development in more ways than you could imagine.
Here are some learning opportunities that your little one could benefit from by playing with play dough:
1. Helps develop fine motor skills
Play dough is a great way to encourage your child to practise their fine motor skills and finger grasp, all essential skills for school and play. The soft and mouldable nature of play dough, means that it can be shaped into literally anything imaginable while building up strength in their grip - which will help with pencil and scissor control later on. Our play doughs in particular are extra soft and squishy, so even the tiniest hands can squeeze and shape them.
2. Enhances gross motor skills
All the squeezing, patting, chopping, rolling, poking and pulling things out of play dough requires different actions and movements, which can all strengthen and enhance hand-eye co-ordination and overall concentration. For example, placing play dough through extruders
requires different gross motor movements compared to using the utensils from our tool kit
3. Provides a multi-sensory experience
Children learn and make sense of their world by touching, seeing, tasting, smelling and hearing. Ignite their senses with our brightly coloured play doughs
which all come scented with delicious food grade, taste safe flavours and scents which can help them with colour recognition and learn and identify fruits based on their smells.
Also, by adding other mediums in your play time like leaves, pom poms, coloured rice
, coloured pasta and other textures and shapes, children can have a multi-sensory learning experience with play dough and a whole new way of learning.
4. Sparks Imagination
Play dough can be moulded into just about anything. It's the perfect open ended play item that can spark imaginative small world play. Your child could be sculpting their favourite animals
and pretending they're at a zoo, or reliving prehistoric times by creating their own dinosaur fossils
or creating their own scene with different kinds of vehicles
. The possibilities are endless!
5. Aids in Literacy and Numerical Learning
Contrary to what people may believe, play dough is a fantastic educational tool which can aid in mathematical and numerical learning. Recreate scenes from your child's favourite book and use play dough as props to engage them in story time. Use alphabet cutters
and guide your child to create letters, make words and spell out their own name. Use number cutters
or simply mould numbers yourself and explore simple equations and basic mathematics. Roll out different sized ball of play dough and get them to compare weight, size, thickness and so on. There are so many ideas and ways to make learning fun.
Do you incorporate play dough into your child's play time? What are some fun ways you encourage learning through play?