Playing with playdough provides little ones with numerous activities to enhance their imaginations and other skills while providing an excellent way for them to harness their creativity. Oftentimes, children who have been confined at home or restricted to one play area may have limited options for exploration and creativity. In these cases, parents need to create opportunities for imaginative play.
Other benefits of using playdough during early childhood include developing color recognition, making size comparisons, and sensory awareness. As children roll out their creations, they notice colors. They also begin to learn how colors may vary depending on which combinations they use. Children start to understand the varying sizes of objects and practice making size comparisons. In this post, we will examine the various benefits of playdough activities during early childhood.
The Benefits of Playdough Activities
Playing with playdough offers so many benefits to all children, regardless of their developmental levels. Here are some of them:
They encourage creativity and self-expression
Children sometimes have trouble getting “out of their own heads” long enough to see the world from someone else’s perspective. This is where the importance of art comes in. By making something from an original idea that still matches one’s own self-expression and personality, children can create interesting works of art as they try new things and explore different designs.
For kids who struggle with sensory processing, being able to squish, throw, roll, or shape playdough can help them better manage this difficulty. In fact, many therapists use playdough as an active intervention tool for children who have trouble coping with outside stimuli.
They help improve muscle control and coordination
Activities like drawing and building shapes out of blocks can be tricky for children who have limited fine motor skills. Oftentimes, children who struggle in this area have trouble drawing or picking up small objects without smudging, dropping things, or becoming frustrated. But playdough is different. It’s malleable and easily held between two fingers, making it ideal even for the youngest preschoolers. This activity allows kids to explore their creativity independently, without requiring too much physical effort.
Children can create their own fun
Oftentimes, kids want to do things that they see others doing because they may not know how to come up with their own activities yet. When they do try to create something on their own, it may have limitations. But with playdough, youngsters can make new things each time, even if it is just random shapes and blobs. And because the material itself is so malleable, children are less likely to become bored with the same old thing each time they grab it.
Playdough activities help kids develop social skills
When children interact and play with others, they learn how to share, take turns, resolve disagreements peacefully, and build interpersonal relationships that can withstand a few bumps in the road. They also learn how to cope more effectively with disappointment, frustration, and failure, without becoming excessively overwhelmed, because their playmates encourage them to keep trying.
They help children learn about cause and effect
When children smash two playdough balls together, they learn that one will become bigger from adding more to it. This is a simple concept that eventually transfers into other areas of learning.
Playdough activities are easily accessible to children of all ages. Keep in mind that not all kids who have trouble expressing themselves necessarily enjoy art projects. If your child isn’t interested in making shapes or figures out of moldable dough, there are many other options, including painting, or building with blocks or legos. Remember that playtime should be about the freedom to make choices and be creative, so if children want to engage in something else, let them go for it.
There are also some precautions to take when playing with playdough. Since the dough contains salt and flour, it’s important to keep it out of your child’s mouth. Similarly, you should always check the ingredients label for any potential allergens before using playdough. Finally, playdough is designed to keep its shape even after being compressed, so as to remind children not to use their teeth or fingernails on it.
If children struggle to express themselves through other playtime activities, allowing them to explore their artistic side might be just what they need. The best part about playdough is that anyone can participate, regardless of skill level or dexterity, so everyone can freely express themselves.
Children Central promotes children’s creativity through a variety of playdough activities. Call us today for more information!