Your Complete Guide to Play Dough

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The benefits of play dough 

Fine Motor Skills

Playing with play dough is an excellent way to develop and strengthen the small muscles of the wrists, hands, and fingers. All the pinching, rolling, and shaping of the dough is a fun, and very effective, way to bring in fine motor skills

Sensory Exploration

This tactile feedback increases their sensation of touch. You can also add to the sensory exploration at home by adding spices like cinnamon for smell or new colors to engage multiple senses at once. Additionally, you could try adding small beads or sequins for a new feel.

Creativity & Imagination

Like other forms of messy play, play dough encourages learning through exploration during open-ended play. This toy offers endless possibilities spurred on by the child’s own curiosity and imagination.

Cognitive Development

While playing, kids are learning cause and effect when they create, destroy, or remold new things. They’re also learning problem solving as they try new techniques to make their ideas possible.

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Using Play Dough for the First Time

The first time you give play dough to your child, you’re going to want to explain to them what it is. And emphasize it’s only for playing with, never for eating. Begin by demonstrating yourself. Explain how the play dough will change shapes and can be molded and remolded into anything they want.

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Encourage their Participation

Start with small, simple activities using the play dough to get them engaged. Try rolling tiny balls or rolling out long ‘snakes’. Talk to them about how it feels, what they think they can make, or different aspects of the play dough itself such as the colors or shapes.

13 Activities to Try with Play Dough

Letters-either by stamping, writing with a stick, or physically rolling out the letters Numbers-similar to letters but try numbers this time Animal tracks-have different animals walk across the play dough Shapes-practice stamping or cutting out shapes Colors– practice your colors or mixing colors together People-try making little play dough people of everyone in your family Food– ask your child to make their favorite food

13 Activities to Try with Play Dough

Birthday party-make some birthday cakes together (feel free to pull out real candles) Smells-try making play dough with different spices with the recipe below Zoo-bring in some play animals to feed or dress with the play dough Car tracks-find different toy cars that will make fun tracks Dress up-grab their plastic toys to dress up Scissor practice-practice cutting the play dough with scissors

All About Play Dough

Apples, Blocks, and Crayons

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