My son asks to play with play dough all the time. I decided to use this love as a teaching opportunity and share some fun ways to learn with play dough.
Soft dough can be used for all types of learning. Some of our favorite ways to use it are for motor skills, cutting skills, and creative skills. Last time we played with playdough, even my 18-month-old joined in!
1. Playdough Tools for Fine Motor Skills
It’s nothing new to say that kids can sharpen their skills by rolling, flattening, and pinching play dough, but have you ever thought of giving them some tools to use in their creative adventures?
For our last play dough activity I gave my oldest son some common household items like plastic utensils, a straw, toothpicks, a popsicle stick, and some safety scissors. He learned how to cut strips out of the play dough using the plastic knife and the scissors, and it actually helped his scissor control a bit (which is something we struggle with) as well as teaching life skills like cutting food.
My baby enjoyed poking the play dough with the craft stick and smashing it with the plastic spoon. You can even add some construction paper, little cups, and cookie cutters to use and let your kids sculpt even more with their play dough like a dough boat with a straw sticking out and a paper sail on the straw.
Play dough mats are a great way to help with a number of skills from motor skills to making numbers and letters and shapes to following instructions. You can find a number of printable mats online and add a page protector over them so they can be reused. Another awesome product we found works as a play dough mat is our wipe clean book!
Usborne has some really neat wipe clean books that teach numbers, letters, shapes, and doodling. The pages are laminated so that your child can use a dry erase marker to color in the book over and over, but it also works great for using and easily cleaning up soft dough.
We chose to work in the Big Wipe Clean Activity Book which has a great mixture of activities. My son rolled green dough into balls then smashed it down to fit inside the circles for trees, rolled small bits of gray and brown dough to add dirt and rocks to the construction site and excavator scoop, and even shaped the dough to fit into the shape of the construction vehicles.
Here are a few ideas from other bloggers. Visit their sites by clicking on the link or the picture to learn more!
Help your child learn his/her name with these fun activities.
Your child can learn math using these fun addition playdough games.
Get creative and celebrate birthdays with this fun activity, plus, grab a recipe for some sweet, edible play dough.
Check out 10 [more] Fun Play Dough Activities from The Chirping Mom
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-What are your child’s favorite playdough activities?