National PlayDoh day is TODAY…
and we are ready to celebrate one of our favorite items
to play with at home and in our classrooms.
To celebrate, read why we believe PlayDoh is an integral part
of child development and a few ideas for how to reap your own benefits at home!
Importance of PlayDoh
PlayDoh is a wonderful developmental tool to use in the classroom, especially because students often don’t realize the benefits because they are having too much fun playing! From squeezing the PlayDoh between their hands, rolling it out with different tools, or pressing it with their favorite cutter, PlayDoh is a great way to increase the strength in their hands. Hand strengthening exercises are important for overall development and especially important when learning how to write. Playing with the texture of the PlayDoh can provide a sensory input that children may not usually encounter in their day-to-day lives. Exposure to different textures and senses, specifically in hands and feet, helps create pathways between the extremities and the brain and provides the chance for organization to begin happening in the brain’s development. Imaginative play can take place when students sculpt their own creations and we love hearing them explain the different parts of their playdoh art. Additionally, we always love chances to talk about different colors, shapes, or other ways to classify the play doh or what we make.
Ideas for at Home
We love making our own PlayDoh, see “our” recipe below. The ingredients are fairly common household items and kids love measuring and mixing everything together. Additional ideas are to add scents (peppermint extract) or different textures (like glitter) to provide another level of sensory play. If you do not have cutters, you can roll the PlayDoh and use it to form letters, then tracing them with your finger and making the letter sounds. This is a great example of visual, kinesthetic, and auditory learning all taking place at once. Encourage kids to make an animal or other item and take turns guessing what it may be. Practice pressing different textures like leaves, buttons, combs, or other household items into the PlayDoh to see the different impressions they make. Older kids can take turns guessing which item made the pattern into the PlayDoh. And don’t forget to include kids in cleaning up. Not only is clean up a vital skill students should learn, but scraping PlayDoh off the table and pressing it into it’s container continues those skills from play!
Send us pictures of you and your kids playing with PlayDoh this week and show us how you celebrated!
Soft Homemade Playdough Recipe:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup salt
1 tbsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp veg oil
3/4 cups boiling water
Add dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir together. Drop in the oils. Add the boiling water. Stir together with a spatula then switch and use your hands. Tip the dough out of the bowl onto your table surface and stand kneading. If it’s not too hot let your kiddos jump in and squish the dough around. They LOVE to feel soft warm dough squishing through their fingers as it comes together.