I’m not sure who loves playdough more sometimes, me or the Little Tots. We play with it almost daily and they never seem to get bored of it. I always have a batch ready to whip out to fill those moments before going out somewhere or whilst I’m cooking or to help calm them down if they’re tired or over excited. I know it’s some parents worst nightmares as it goes hard and welds into carpets, bottoms of shoes, the sofa etc but the benefits of playdough for children are so well documented you cant ignore it.
Here’s just a few of the benefits of playing with playdough:
- Great practice for developing those fine motor skills
- Builds imagination and creativity – playdough can be anything!
- Early mark making and letter writing practice
- Language development – talking with children about what they have made
- Develops self esteem – there is no wrong or right way to play with play dough
- Great for cooperative play as children learn to share and play together
- Helps develop hand eye coordination through things such as playdough rollers or rolling pins
- Keeps toddlers busy and expands there attention span (who knew they could sit still so long?)
- Develops number and shape awareness through counting and sorting
- Therapeutic and calming – who doesn’t love a good squish of some play dough
- ..and most importantly it’s fun!
I have been making my own playdough for awhile now and have finally found our perfect fool proof basic no cook playdough recipe that hasn’t failed us yet. Its quick, fun to make with the children and I tend to find it lasts longer than shop brought playdough. You can also add textures and scents to it to increase the sensory experience.
Invitations to Play
I use a lot of invitations to play as a childminder. I find they encourage open-ended play, build upon children’s imagination and allow for plenty of child-led learning opportunities. An invitation to play involves setting up resources and materials in an attractive way that allow children to create their own open-ended play and let it take them in which ever direction they fancy. It can be as simple as laying out toys and recourses in a different way or new location and definitely does not mean spending lots of money. You can read more about setting up invitiations to play over on Teach Preschool or the Imagination Tree.
Here are some of our recent playdough invitations to play that I have set up for the Little Tots:
- Ocean themed playdough
- Playdough with natural loose parts
- Valentines Day playdough
- Spring / Easter themed playdough
- Mud & Bugs playdough
- Playdough Faces
- Dinosaur Eggs
- Dinosaur Playdough
- Autumn Scented Playdough
- Halloween Playdough
- Christmas Tree Playdough
- Winter themed playdough
- Frozen Inspired Playdough
- Olaf Playdough
- Christmas Tree Playdough
- My Little Pony Playdough
- Tinkerbell Playdough
- Summer Playdough
- Lavender Playdough
- Fireworks Playdough
- St Patricks Day Playdough
- Dandelion Playdough
- Cornflour & Conditioner Playdough
….and there will be many more to come. So get making your own playdough now!