Play-Doh™ is a childhood favourite that every kid loves! Play-Doh™ was originally created to serve as a wallpaper cleaner in the 1930s but took over as an educational toy two decades later. Play-Doh™ is a combination of flour, salt, and water so it is the perfect kids’ toy because it is non-toxic and reusable (although we don’t recommend eating it!).
Five benefits of Play-Dough
Although Play-Doh™ can be dumbed down to moulding clay into different shapes, it is far more extensive!
1. It develops fine motor skills
The acts of squishing, rolling, cutting, flattening, and more help build up strength in your child’s tiny hands. Your children develop muscles used in their hands for fine motor movements in the future, such as holding a pencil. As a bonus, your child’s hand-eye coordination enhances as Play-Doh forces them to manipulate the materials to fit their ideas.
2. It’s calming for children
Play-Doh™ acts very much like a squishy stress ball. Playing with the clay can help ease tension, release energy, improve focus, and more. For these reasons, Play-Doh™ is especially helpful for children on the spectrum or diagnosed with ADHD or ADD.
3. It encourages creativity
Play-Doh™ comes in so many colours and even textures that there are an unlimited number of creations your kids can make. Play-Doh™ encourages children to use their imagination and think in new and innovative ways.
4. It improves social skills
In a childcare setting, Play-Doh™ is a great practice for developing your child’s social skills. From sharing different colours and tools to collaborating on creations, children are encouraged to step out of their comfort zone, share, and be social with other kids. As a bonus, it promotes playtime – away from devices and electronics.
5. It supports literacy and numeracy
It can be difficult to get children interested in learning, particularly when they are learning to read or do maths. Play-Doh™ is an excellent tool to assist in teaching kids about counting, shapes, colours, and even descriptions!
As you can see, while Play-Doh™ often ends up dried out on the kitchen counter, its benefits are unbelievable.
How to make Play-Dough
- 2x cup of flour
- 2x tbsp of oil (any kitchen oil will do e.g. coconut oil)
- ½ cup of salt
- 3x tbsp baking powder (optional)
- 1 ½ cup of boiling water
- Gel food colouring (optional – this is what gives Play-Doh™ its vibrant colour!)
- Combine flour, salt, and baking powder (if using) in a large mixing bowl.
- Add in oil and boiling water. Mix until they form the dough consistency.
- Sit on a bench and allow it to cool.
- Once cooled, add in food colouring (if using) and mix until combined.
HOT TIP: if you want to make several colours, separate the dough into even sections before you add any food colouring. Add one colour to each section.
- Knead the dough until it has been thoroughly mixed.
HOT TIP: this can be messy – if you don’t want to stain your hands, use gloves and cover your counter with glad wrap or a cover so you don’t stain your bench.