It’s a fact — most children love playdough. But did you know that what used to be a wallpaper cleaner in the 1930s became an educational toy in the 1950s? Playdough is excellent for children of all ages because it’s not only reusable and non-toxic, it’s also fun to play around with during playtime. However, parents have a love-hate relationship with playdough because it can be pretty messy and it can dry out if not sealed. But when it comes to children’s development, the boons of playdough far outweigh the banes. In this post, we will look at the benefits of playing with playdough throughout your child’s development.

Hands-on learning

Did you know that every child is born with the ability to learn? The question is what your child will focus on at any given time. Playdough activities can help improve your child’s motor skills and cognitive development. Lefties aren’t left out either, as they tend to develop more quickly than kids who write with their right hands. And since playdough is lightweight, children can easily focus on the task at hand.

The best way to get children engaged in playdough activities is by letting them do it themselves. One of the best things about clay is its malleability. Playdough is easy for little fingers to roll, shape, and squish without much strain. Of course, you can also teach your child how to do a variety of playdough activities when they are in preschool or kindergarten. 

Development of hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills

Young children’s fine motor skills are only just starting to develop which is why it’s so important for us to give them plenty of opportunities to hone these skills. That said, some parents may not be aware of the benefits of using playdough, and they may believe that children would be better off spending time on activities that carry greater educational value. 

Let us put your mind at ease. In reality, playdough activities can sharpen children’s hand-eye coordination. In fact, they can even help improve your child’s skills at home and beyond. Moreover, all those hours of squishing and kneading clay can also provide a great source of relaxation for children.

The great thing about playdough is that children can use it in a variety of ways. It can be a tool that enables them to learn so many concepts, such as colors, numbers, letters, shapes, and more. 

Each time you incorporate playdough activities into your child’s playtime, there are so many different ideas to try. Which letters can we create? Which color or shape do you see? How can we make flowers or animals out of playdough? You can even incorporate preschool-style games (like “I spy”) with numbers or shapes! And of course, don’t forget to praise children for a job well done.

Language development and communication skills

Playdough activities are also excellent when it comes to enriching the development of children’s communication skills. When children are in the process of mastering language, we can teach children all about letters and how sounds combine to make words, all by using playdough. You can even give them a card or a picture with a word written on it, and ask children to form what they use using clay shapes. As always, never force your child into anything — keep it light because, with playdough, consistency is key!

In addition, deep pressure while squeezing clay enables children to experience different textures. It may seem strange, but it requires a lot of effort for little fingers and hands to squish clay into balls or shapes.

Self-esteem builders

Kids love making things out of playdough. Their imaginations can soar as they create cute animals and shapes. These activities can boost their self-esteem and allow them to use their imagination in new ways. Also, the sense of accomplishment they feel when they make something is rewarding, no matter how simple it is! 

First and foremost, remember to be patient because children will need some guidance and time as they learn and create. It is not something you can do for them. So it’s best to give them a lot of encouragement.

The Early Childhood University promotes creative activities that enhance different areas of development in children. For more information, contact us today!