Play Dough is one of those timeless activities that I think all of us have played with throughout our childhoods.
Shop bought or homemade, play dough has so many benefits for our child’s development.
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The Benefits Of Play Dough
Enhances fine motor skill
When your child handles the playdough by squishing, squashing, rolling, flattening, they are developing and strengthening their hand muscles. The strengthening of the hand muscles help to improve fine motor skills of your child.
Improves pre-writing skills
When your child plays with play dough, their pincer grip (the squeezing of pointer finger and thumb to grasp an object) improves. Improved the pincer grip helps them to grip mark making tools and aid your child’s pre-writing skills.
Creativity and imagination
Play dough provides your child with unlimited possibilities to encourage, extends and inspires their little imaginations. They can create whatever they like. Moulding the dough into their little creations such as food, animals, decorations, flowers etc. By offering tools such as rolling pins and cookie cutters your child can produce various shapes, extending their creativity and imagination. Also by using the additional tools a child’s hand-eye coordination is developed further and improved.
Increases curiosity and knowledge
The next time your child is playing with play dough watch how they manipulate the play dough, how the experiment with the way they move their hands and use the tools to mould the play dough to get their desired effects and shapes. They might take two different colours of play dough and mix them together (yes, the thought of this makes me cringe too!) By doing this, they are showing curiosity and they may start asking various questions which would help increase their knowledge and help overall development.
There are times when our children maybe restless, struggle to settle or express their emotions. Try giving your child some play dough to play with. Sitting down and moving the play dough between their hands will have a very calming and soothing effect on him as they will have to slow down and concentrate. It’s such a great activity to encourage self-regulation.
When your child plays with play dough alongside yourself, their siblings or other children you are more likely to interact, talk, discuss what they are doing, share problems and find solutions to creating great creations with the play dough. Thus, playing with play dough will enhance your child’s social skills.