Benefits of Play Dough + Easiest Dough Recipe Ever!
Play dough! There isn’t an age group that doesn’t love the feeling of moulding, rolling and smoothing dough into one form or another, it is the most therapeutic activity ever! The benefits and opportunities with play dough are equally as brilliant! Here are just a few –
- Fine motor skills – the little muscles in fingers need a lot of practice and play dough is super for this. Play dough helps prepare fingers for the writing process. The coordination of manipulating dough builds fine motor muscles and supports a child to hold and write with a pencil.
- It’s so versatile – Add it to kitchen role-play, blocks or small world play… quite honestly it fits into any area of play, it could even be added to sand and water for a messy play / science experience.
- It’s great on the kitchen floor (while you prepare dinner), as a birthday party activity or take it on a plane flight. Dough can be stored and transported in an airtight container very easily and just keeps on entertaining!
- Theme it! Play dough can be made in any colour, so try Frozen themed blue and white dough with glitter, or black and orange dough for Halloween. Keep it plain and add lavender oil to develop sensory play.
- It’s all about the enhancements – play dough can be downright dull if you don’t have the right tools and materials to enhance it with. Add flower petals, birthday candles, big buttons, pebbles, marbles, shells, coloured sticks, dry pasta, googley eyes, feathers,corks (the opportunities are endless). Why not try adding a garlic crusher or egg slicer for a completely new experience. Your kitchen is a fantastic place to look for exciting new tools – just keep it age and stage appropriate and your child will be busy for hours.
- Mathematics – count it, measure it, weigh it on some scales, compare and estimate with it. Play dough is the perfect hands-on resource for understanding mathematical concepts.
- Imagination and Creativity – A bird’s nest of eggs, or a plate of spaghetti, mum, dad,brother or sister, a castle or a horse… the beauty of dough is it can represent absolutely anything. Let your child’s ideas run wild and explore till their hearts content, and in the process be careful not to take over yourself!
- Get your little one to help you make the dough, keeping safety in mind of course when adding the hot water. Write up a recipe with some pictures and your child can help read the recipe and make the dough. We often prepare an activity here at Nursery that allows them to choose their own quantities… it makes for some interesting results, but the process in this case is more important the product.
- Don’t buy it… It’s free! Follow our recipe and create the quickest and easiest dough ever! If you have any trouble let us know and we will give you an ‘in-house’ demo! The best part about homemade dough, is you know where it came from so it won’t matter if your little one decides to try a bit.
Super Smooth and Simple Play Dough
2 cups of plain flour
½ cup of salt
1 tablespoon crème of tartar
2 tablespoons oil
2 cups of boiling water “keeping safety in mind of course when adding the hot water”
Mix the dry ingredients and make a well in the centre. Add the oil and food colour but don’t mix it just yet. Here is the key…make sure the water is boiling hot! Pour in one cup of the boiling water and give it a quick mix, then add the second. It may look like it will be too wet, but the flour will begin to cook and so with a bit of kneading the result is a smooth velvety playdough.
Get yourself involved and enjoy!