I’ve often heard many mothers share the reasons why they don’t allow the use of playdough in their homes. I get it, mamas! Playdough can be messy. It can find its way anywhere and is a super pain to get our of carpets. It requires a certain kind of care of it hardens and is useless. You may wonder, “Are there any actual benefits of playdough for children?”
The answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
Benefits of Playdough
It is an excellent way to improve fine motor development.
Squishing, mushing, squeezing, pulling—all those motions that children do when they are exploring with playdough help strengthen their hand muscles. Young children will need this strengthening to later be able to cut with scissors and write with pencils.
It builds creativity and imagination.
Have you ever witnessed a child playing with playdough and turn a lump of clay into a full course meal? Maybe they built a house and surrounded it with a flower garden or used several colors to form a rainbow and a pot of gold. The possibilities are endless with what you can create with a small, malleable ball of playdough. Being given time to really dive into it allows children to expand their own ideas and bring them to life. You can use virtually anything to play with alongside playdough–pasta noodles, sprinkles, flowers, rocks, sticks, buttons, small toys, and more. Let their imaginations run wild!
Whether your child has special sensory needs or just needs a way to exert some emotion like frustration or sadness, there is something inherently soothing about pushing or pounding playdough. It conforms to your will and you can use that to help release your inner stress. It also can have varying textures depending on things you may add to it like colored rice or small feathers. You can also give it a scent using things like jello, Kool Aid, spices, or essential oils.
It’s cheap fun!
You can make homemade playdough with ingredients that you find around the house like flour, salt, and vinegar or oil. If stored properly, it can last for very long time. You can likely whip up a batch without buying a single ingredient from the store!
It can be a learning tool.
You can use playdough to help with math, engineering, science, reading, and more. If we can make learning more fun for our children, why would we choose otherwise? It has been proven time and time again that young children learn best through play.
What is your favorite way to use playdough?