It’s no secret that children love play dough, it’s fun and popular with all young children. My daughter for one goes crazy for it and will spend hours creating her play dough masterpieces. This week we had a go a making play dough ourselves.
There are many fabulous learning benefits of allowing children to play with play dough
Developing those fine motor skills
Play dough has super malleable properties making playtime fun and interesting. Pinching rolling, chopping, cutting, squashing,shaping, moulding and squeezing all play a part in helping build strength in those little hands; readying them for skills and hand control later on. Each action aids fine motor development in different ways, not forgetting the increase in concentration levels and hand-eye coordination to!
Play Dough can become the ideal medium for imaginative play, the possibilities are endless. We’ve been experimenting creating sweet shops and bakeries for imaginative role play, not only that we can create fun and exciting worlds for her toys and figurines. Anything is possible from creating beach scenes, to magical worlds and even animals to, the list of benefits and creative play possibilities continues to grow!
As a child gets older the play can become more focussed on learning, we have discovered that the dough can become a fantastic tool to practice letter and number work. Forming letters of the alphabet, creating shapes, counting and even learning colours.
Discovery of Science
Recently we have created our own play dough and the process of making it allowed us to teach Isabelle a little science. For something that seemed simple to me, I underestimated how intriguing it would be for a child to see everything come together to create the substance that she loves and enjoys. By mixing the solids and liquids and adding heat she was able to understand the whole process. It also became another learning experience of allowing her to help measure out everything that we needed.
My only criticism of play dough is the expense, there’s a well known brand that we all know and love but it can be a tad pricey especially when keeping up with Isabelle’s creations and her squashing of colours together. That’s why we decided to give creating our own batches of dough a whirl. If you fancy making play dough with your little ones, why not try the recipe below
1 Cup all purpose flour
1/2 Cup water
2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
1Teaspoon cream of tartar or 3 teaspoons of lemon juice
Essential oil or essence (we used almond essence)
Glitter (if you want)
Most recipes call for the dye and essence to be added after the cooking process but I prefer to add it during
Step 1: Add flour and salt to saucepan followed by the water and oil
Sept 2: Add cream of tartar or alternative and mix well
Step 3: Keep stirring on a low heat
Step 4: Add colour of choice and essence
Step 5: Keep stirring for around 10 minutes and the mixture should come together to form your dough
Step 6: Pinch to test if it as the required consistency, keep heating if not
Step 7: Remove from pan and allow to cool
Step 8: Kneed in glitter if required
Step 9: You are ready to play!
Step 10: Store in air tight containers to keep your dough soft and useable