Playdough is a powerful early learning tool! It aids language and literacy skills, fine motor development, creativity, mathematical and scientific thinking, sensory exploration, and social skills. Playing with playdough by itself is often the perfect way to learn, but if you are looking for some new ways to get creative – try one these ideas and see where your child’s imagination takes him.
Provide googly eyes & pipe cleaners.
Use playdough mats to accomplish specific learning goals, see http://www.prekinders.com/category/math/playdough-math/ for print outs.
Provide child-sized scissors to practice cutting skills.
Cut figures out of poster paper and make clothes for them to wear.
Provide materials to make fun prints in the dough (lace, letters, leaves, etc).
Provide cookie cutters & play bake shop.
Add textures to mix into the dough – sand, sugar, dried corn kernels, buttons. How does it feel?
Provide cardboard tubes of different sizes – will they become tunnels, houses?
Have a Mr Potato head? Use the pieces with the play dough.
Provide plastic utensils.
*Sometimes one color is enough! Young children often mix play dough colors together leaving you with a chunk of ugly brown. Unless you are doing a “color mixing” experiment – one color usually works best with the little ones.*
*With supervision, older infants can be introduced to play dough by rolling pieces into a balls and asking them to smooch the balls with their hand or finger.*
*Play-doh brand playdough contains wheat. If you don’t know whether your child has a wheat allergy, you might want to try allergy friendly playdoughs made by Lakeshore Learning or Discount School Supply. *
MORE PLAYDOUGH FUN & RECIPES at: NAEYC for families.