Play dough is a fun open-ended activity that youngsters can enjoy once they are able to manipulate the modeling compound. Playing with and manipulating play dough is very therapeutic and fun. In addition, it boasts many educational benefits for preschool children, and it can be enjoyed for a long time after. Children of all ages can enjoy playing with play dough, and no matter the age of the child, there are always some educational benefits that play dough promotes.
What are the educational benefits of play dough?
Playing with play dough provides excellent exercise for hands which strengthens hand muscles and improves dexterity. Squeezing, rolling and pounding play dough is fun and great for giving hands a good workout. In addition, it improves fine motor skills. The skills gained provide a child with the ability to grip and manipulate a pencil and give better control over learning how to write. Playing with play dough prepares a child for school and many of the activities that they need to master in life.
Play dough is a tactile experience that promotes sensory development, and improves hand-eye coordination. The soft squishy medium is therapeutic to squeeze and manipulate. It is a calming activity that promotes and improves concentration and focus. Play dough is engaging, as it is an open-ending activity that keeps children interested. Imagination is sparked and enhanced once the skills have been mastered to manipulate play dough. All manner of models can be created, the possibilities are endless.
Children can also learn about colors, textures and shapes as they learn how to manipulate the play dough. Creating new and different models stimulates a child’s imagination which promotes creative play. Play dough provides an activity that allows free play and thinking, as well as allowing a child to express their creativity. Play dough is a fun activity for children of all ages and it boasts many educational benefits that are particularly useful for preschoolers.
How to make home-made play dough
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
Mix the flour, salt and oil, and slowly add the water. Cook over a medium heat, stirring until the mixture becomes stiff. Turn it out onto a board and let cool. Knead the play dough with your hands until it’s the right consistency. Use as it is, or divide it into balls and add a few drops of food coloring. It’s that simple.
Home-made play dough can be kept fresh by bagging it and refrigerating when not in use. A new batch can be made up once it loses its consistency and pliability. Home-made play dough is cost effective and easy to make. The ingredients needed are often pantry staples that are to hand. A batch of play dough can be made with minimal effort and provide hours of fun.
Play dough is a fun and educational activity that can entertain children for hours and always has them coming back for more. The pliable medium is enjoyed by all, as it provides a therapeutic activity that stimulates the senses. Children learn through play, and play dough is a brilliant activity that promotes many educational benefits.