Benefits of Playdough
Play Dough is such a great thing for kids and adults. There are many ways to foster development in many skill areas.
In looking for benefits of playdough for adults, it really is the same list as children. As far as activities, I don’t worry too much about what is age-appropriate. If the person enjoys the activity and is experiencing the developmental benefits, then who cares? Call it clay if someone has a problem with using the word playdoh.
Developmental Benefits of Playdough
- Working with clay can help develop fine motor skills and hand strength.
- It can be calming for children and adults to manipulate the playdough with their hands.
- Playdough can help support language development and social skills.
- It can encourages creativity and be an open-ended activity.
- Working with clay can enhance hand-eye coordination and following directions (depends if it is free play or structured activity).
- Can help work through sensory aversions or satisfy sensory cravings. There are even special therapy doughs sold that have specific scents.
Using Playdough in Therapy
I’m using the term “therapy” very generously. I’m a Mom. I don’t necessarily think that I’m providing therapy to my child, since I’m not a therapist. However, we are doing beneficial activities together. And, they are activities that he likely wouldn’t have done on his own, without me initiating.
- Hand Strength– Working and manipulating dough in your hands is a great way to increase hand strength. You can even have them work on arm strength if the dough is particularly tough to work with, such as rolling it with a rolling pin, which takes more than the hands.
- Sensory-Different recipes of playdough will feel differently in a child’s hands. And, of course they will have different smells. You can even add essential oils to some of them to change the smell.
- Redirection-Have a child exhibiting unwanted behavior? Get out some playdough and redirect them. They can bang out their frustrations on a lump of playdough instead of their classmate. It can get them out of a rut of destructive or negative thinking if they enjoy working with the playdough.
- Language and Literacy-Talk about what they are making. Talk about colors, scents. Make letters and numbers out of the clay, or flatten out a sheet of dough and carve the letters with a pencil or popsicle stick. Trying having the person make letters with the clay, such as is suggested with the Orton Gillingham Approach.
- Story telling and Sequencing-The person can either build a scene/set out of the clay and tell you about it, or give them sequential steps of a task you want them to complete. Don’t be afraid to introduce other things into the playdough such as little army guys or other plastic figures, to help with stories and sequencing. You can also use sequencing if they are helping you follow the directions or recipe to make the playdough, or if you are doing a multi-step activity such as first making the playdough, then a creation, then drying and decorating that creation.
- Fine and Gross Motor– Building, rolling, shaping, making…depending on the complexity of the task, a child can hone in on both fine and gross motor skills. You can add all sorts of things to your playdough-small plastic figures, rocks/stones, beads, buttons, punch holes in your creation and add a ribbon to hang…so much can be tied in to these activities.
- Bilateral Coordination-Many kids struggle to use both hands at the same time to complete a task. Think of holding a steak steady on your plate with a fork in one hand, and slicing it with a knife in the other. That is a set of coordination skills that many take for granted. This is a task that can be practiced repeatedly using playdough.
- Imaginary Play- So many kids on the spectrum struggle with this. Playdough can be a great way to create “pretend” things and talk about them. Make fake money or fake food with your dough and act out scenarios.
- Creativity– We also all know of that one kid on the spectrum with rigid thinking and no creativity–the one who can build the most complex Lego creation following the directions, but hand them a bucket of Legos without directions and they can’t build a thing. Hand them a few lumps of playdough and encourage conversation and creativity. No blueprints except those that exist in the mind. You can also choose a recipe that you know will harden if you leave it out, and then consider painting it when it dries. Get small stones, beads, sequins, buttons or other kids of embellishments to put on the creation before it dries. The possibilities are endless and children may need just a few prompts to get them going.
- Social Skills– Do this as a small group. Set ground rules such as no judging, no criticizing, no “that’s stupid, why did you make that?” Have the kids each make something and then they have to tell the others about it. Have them work in pairs to collaboratively come up with something.
And of course, it’s always fun and fine to just play with it! Sometimes us grownups forget that.
- The 36-color box-packed air dry clay (each cup is about 0.7 oz, 1.58 lbs in total) is packed in a plastic storage box. Also comes with sculpting tools, accessories and a booklet of ideas for easy creation.
- Holicolor air dry clay is very soft and flexible, easy to stretch and mix, and non-staining, no mess, making it easy to use. The modeling clay for kids will dry completely within 24 hours.
- Holicolor Air Dry Clay for kids is made of eco-friendly and non-toxic materials and can be used with confidence. However, it is not suitable for kids under 4 years old. Younger kids should play under adult supervision to avoid eating mistakenly.
- The Clay set is perfect as kids gift. The handy carrying case is nice for storage, colored air dry clay with various accessories to make into different arts crafts, really add to the fun.
- Through this magic clay, you could inspire your kid's creativity, exercise their hand-eye coordination ability, express their thoughts by shaping the image, to let your kids feel the fun and stay away from electronic products.
- Everything You Need: This air dry clay designed to be easy to use for everyone, and commonly referred to as kids modeling clay, our air dry clay kit is the ideal arts and crafts activity for kids and adults alike! 24 modeling clay in 24 colors, a project booklet, 3 small tools, and 34 animal accessories to help with shaping and decorating, 24 containers to keep usused clay
- Occupy kids for hours: Boost your little one's creativity, and help them develop motor skills and enhance eye-hand coordination; They'll be busy with these sculpting clay making accessories all day while engaging in fun, sensory play; Best activity for rainy days, play-dates, birthday parties, and more
- So much fun: This modeling clay is very soft to the touch, non messy, and doesn't leave residue at all; Air dries completely in 24 hours; It’s a stress-free way to create exciting modeling magic clay and art projects; This complete modeling clay kit makes for an ideal gift for your kids and friends or excellent treat to yourself
- Recommend for ages 6 and up
- If your product does not perform properly, please contact us for a service. Any problem with our products will be a priority settled.
- Super Clay Set: This air dry clay designed to be easy to use for everyone, and commonly referred to as kids modeling clay, our air dry clay kit is the ideal arts and crafts activity for kids and adults alike! 36 modeling clay in 36 colors, a project booklet, 6 clay tools, 4 spring seats, 47 animal and decorative accessories to help with shaping and decorating and 36 extra sealed bags
- Imagination and Creativity: Boost your little one's creativity, and help them develop fine motor skills and enhance hand-eye coordination; They'll be busy with these sculpting clay making accessories all day while engaging in fun, sensory play; Best activity for rainy days, play-dates, birthday parties, parent-child interaction, and more
- Perfect for Gift Idea: This modeling clay is very soft to the touch, non messy, and doesn't leave a residue at all; Air dries completely in 24 hours; It’s a stress-free way to create exciting modeling magic clay and art projects; This complete magic clay is perfect for a birthday gift or Christmas gift for kids
- Recommend for ages 6 and up
- If your product does not perform properly, please contact us for a service; Any problem with our products will be a priority settled
- EASY TO MOLD, EASY TO CLEAN: This fine, natural white earth clay dries to a hard solid. Easy to use with traditional modeling techniques. It’s also a snap to clean up
- IMPROVING ON TRADITION: Crayola Air-Dry Clay is smoother, finer and less sticky than traditional clay, and it needs no oven or kiln! Use with techniques like pinch, coil, slab, score-and-weld; make stamped impressions, beads; embedding found objects
- CREATIVE PROJECTS: Whether you're creating a landscape masterpiece or decorating t-shirts with your Girl Scouts troop, Crayola has the markers, pens, kids markers, paints, colored pencils & crayons you need to make your project pop in bold, bright colors
- TACTILE ART: Let your little artist express themselves through sculpting, molding and modeling. Kids love the 3D nature of clay & dough. Our Air-Dry Clay hardens on its own, and our Modeling Clay can be sculpted, squished, and reused without drying out
- FROM MARKERS TO SIDEWALK CHALK: Markers for kids or adults, washable paints, bright crayons, even scented markers, we've got it all! Crayola gives kids the power to express all that inspires them as they explore, discover, play, pretend, create & dream
- NON-DRYING MODELING CLAY: It’s the lightweight, spongy modeling material that sticks to itself—not your hands. Doesn't dry out, so you can shape and reshape! Choose from 8 classic colors in 4 ounce mylar packages.
- 3D ART: Create anything from simple shapes to intricate dioramas with this clean, pliable modeling compound. Doesn't dry out, so you can shape and reshape to your heart's content.
- CREATIVE PROJECTS: Whether you're creating a landscape masterpiece or decorating t-shirts with your Girl Scouts troop, Crayola has the markers, pens, kids markers, paints, colored pencils & crayons you need to make your project pop in bold, bright colors.
- TACTILE ART: Let your little artist express themselves through sculpting, molding and modeling. Kids love the 3D nature of clay & dough. Our Air-Dry Clay hardens on its own, and our Modeling Clay can be sculpted, squished, and reused without drying out.
- FROM MARKERS TO SIDEWALK CHALK: Markers for kids or adults, washable paints, bright crayons, even scented markers, we've got it all! Crayola gives kids the power to express all that inspires them as they explore, discover, play, pretend, create & dream.
- Ultimate modeling clay for kids with no baking required, super easy to use with handy storage case
- Over 100 pieces including 24 bags of colored clay, rolling pin, stamps, cutters, glitter and more!
- Hours of sensory playtime discovering color mixing with sculpting clay for kids and no mess!
- 15 easy step by step picture tutorials to make jewelry, gift for friends, magnets and cute models
- Totally giftable clay kit for kids ages 8-12, perfect gift for girls.
- ✔24 Color air dry clays set with tools ( 13g/0.45 oz each color, 335g/11.8 oz in total ).
- ✔Material: Non-toxic, environment-friendly and quality-assured ultra light clay.
- ✔Feature: The clay will not glue your hands, fade. The plasticity of the clay is great.
- ✔Culture ability: Kid's capability of discoloring color, hands-on ability, creativity and so on. As well it can enhance the interaction between the parents.
- ✔This clay is not ceramic clay. It can't be baked and must be sealed. This product is applicable to children over 3 years old.
- Stephens, Cassie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 144 Pages - 06/01/2017 (Publication Date) - Quarry Books (Publisher)
Benefits of Making your own Playdough
Over the years, I have tried several recipes for making your own playdough. Honestly, not a huge fan. Mind you, if you get stuck inside on a rainy day and have all the ingredients, it is an activity you can do in an instant. That, I like.
However, I find the homemade stuff doesn’t last as long. It hardens and dries out quicker. The colors are also not as vibrant, in my opinion.
But, something to think about. If you make your own, then you actually have an “activity before the activity.” You can use math, science, reading and language, sensory…all kinds of things take place before you even get to the playdough activities.
So that is a benefit, for sure. Nothing like a day when you don’t want to leave the house and your child proclaims “I’m bored.” Then your own recipe for clay will come in handy. From what I remember, it’s flour, salt, oil, water, starch and maybe a few other items. But those ingredients are in many of the recipes and I usually have them on-hand.
I just never found a best homemade recipe for playdough that I just loved and wanted to make again and again. Plus, I hate when the kids do activities with food dyes. They stain.
But, I find that most clay and products sold online is relatively inexpensive if you take care of it. (read: close the containers when you’re done!)
You should read lists of playdoh ingredients if allergens are a concern.
Happy molding and playing!
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