The Benefits of play-dough
There is something very therapeutic about playing with play-dough. Play-dough is the work of the child. Children enjoy every aspect of the exploration of play-dough. Using this amazing material is a never ending tactile learning experience for all children. When given play-dough, children are instinctively motivated to explore its soft and responsive sensory qualities. They squeeze it, poke it, squash it, pick it up and pat it down. The dough responds to each of their actions and the child is learning that their actions have consequences. Working play-dough with their hands develops the child’s large and small muscles and aids eye-hand coordination. It helps to improve fine motor skills which is beneficial to daily activities. Using play-dough is a calming activity. Children work their stress out through their hands, so play-dough is not only loads of fun, but can be another useful way to help your children to release stress.
* It’s fun!
* It helps to strengthen small fingers, hands and wrists. Children gain control over their hand and arm movements which improves coordination.
* It helps to build your child’s imagination.
* It helps children develop self esteem -there is no right or wrong way to use play dough.
* Play dough fosters cooperative play. Playing with dough with others helps children understand the importance of sharing.
* Discussing what has been made helps build communication skills and develops imagination.
* Dividing it up can be used to help children learn about numbers and counting.
* Play dough is a lovely open ended toy – it can be anything – food, animals, faces, shapes etc.
Simple Play-dough Recipe
2 cups of plain flour
1 cup of salt
1 cup of warm water
1 spoon of cooking oil
food colouring (not essential)
Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix away. If too sticky add more flour, too dry add a little more water.
The dough will last for approx 1 week.