Yes, Playdough is Worth the Bother!

September 11, 2017
  • Yes, Playdough is Worth the Bother!


    Sure, kids love playdough, but it can make a huge mess. Some moms won’t even allow it in their house. Is the possibility for mess and hassle worth it? Absolutely!! Here are just of few of the benefits to consider.

    1. Creativity and pretend play – Playdough is a blank canvas for open ended play. Children can use their imaginations to make a birthday cake, a snake, or an alien from outer space with the same lump of playdough. The possibilities are endless. Studies have shown the critical role of pretend play in normal development. Children need opportunities to pretend. Pretend play also helps children understand the world better as they synthesize things they have learned.
    2. Language development – There are so many opportunities for a child and parent to communicate about while playdough is in front of them. “Pass the green. Can I use the rolling pin? Watch this! It is squishing out! My dinosaur is going to eat the plant before your dinosaur.” Communication, like any other skill, is improved with practice. Descriptive words such as chop, snip, blue and squishy are easily learned and practiced during dough play.
    3. Letter recognition – Want to work on your child’s letter recognition and early reading skills? Give your child more exposure to print by making some letter playdough mats. Our free ABC mats are a good example of this. See below on how you can get yours! They let the children see what the letters look like and playdough offers a unique way to practice forming their letters.
    4. Math – Playdough provides opportunities for counting, dividing, making shapes, and experimenting. Dough play also helps develop problem solving as they try to make their creations do what they want to do. For example, if they want the monster they just made to stand up they adjust it, adjust it, and adjust it some more. Without realizing it, they are learning about balance and weight. Higher level thinking will be taking place naturally.
    5. Fine motor development – Squishing, rolling, and pinching the dough are among some of the actions that happen spontaneously while playing with playdough. All of these actions strengthen the muscles and develop the coordination needed for things like holding a pencil correctly for writing. Similarly, hand-eye coordination can be improved.
    6. Calming – Ever play with a stress ball? Playing with playdough can have a similar calming effect.
    7. Sense of accomplishment and confidence – Children feel proud of what they are able to create. This impacts their self-esteem positively.
    8. Cause and Effect – Children learn how their actions impact the dough and this helps them recognize that their actions have an impact on what is around them.
    9. Sensory Benefits – Dough play provides texture/tactile input, olfactory input (smell) and provides deep pressure input to their hands.
    10. It is fun, inexpensive and keeps them busy doing something positive.


    How about it? Will you let playdough in the house? The benefits far outweigh the hassle!

    We have created some free dual use ABC mats that you can use to make letters out of playdough and use for letter handwriting practice as well!

    Click the picture below to download yours today!


    Still not convinced? Keep a look out for our next blog post about playdough where we share ideas about controlling the mess.

    Have fun teaching….and don’t be afraid to pull out the playdough!

    PS We recommend laminating your free ABC mats! 
    Remember, printing two letters to a double sided paper will save you paper and laminate. Also, a wet erase marker works best when using the laminated mats for handwriting practice.

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Curriculum BenchmarksPlaydough (Part II): Mess Management

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