Today’s invitation in the Stay at Home, Screen Free Activities Programme is all about play dough.
Never made it before? Run out of ideas for something new?
Here are my top ten play dough ideas – and an easy recipe for homemade playdough.
Simple play with play dough
Oh, this is perhaps my favourite day so far of the Stay at Home, Screen Free Activities Programme, because I just love play dough. It’s such a versatile material and so good for children, in so many ways.
You can offer so many simple play variations with play dough. Even with the same basic dough (which can keep for months if you wrap it well after each play time) you can ring the changes each time you play, just by having a range of loose parts on offer.
Set play dough out with loose parts and you can spark a whole new, wonderful hour of creative play every time. You can try:
:: drinking straws
:: wooden blocks
:: pipe cleaners
:: stones, sticks
:: dry pasta
:: cake cases
:: cookies cutters
Complex learning with play dough
As your children play with dough, there are so many complex learning processes happening:
:: they’re discovering new textures, sights and smells, and learning a bit more about the world they live in
:: they’re exercising their fingers, hands and wrists ~ in preparation for holding pencils, writing, fastening shoes laces and buttons….
:: they’re developing their creative thinking, as they transform dough into animals, models, lands…
:: they’re using their imaginations as they use the dough to make play scenes or in role play
:: they’re stretching their knowledge of language as they meet new words like stretchy and squishy, as they make their play dough characters talk to one another, and as they narrate the story being their play
:: they’re introduced to lots of mathematics as they play, building with shapes and working with three dimensions
:: they’re winding down and powering up. Sensory play is a wonderful way to relax and free your mind for ingenuity and new ideas. Play dough is my go-to activity for handling difficult transitions, such as coming home from school, or winding down before bedtime.
Top ten play dough ideas
Ready to play? There are no rules about how you play with dough, so give it a try today and I bet your kids will love it! Here are some ideas that might spark an idea for you:
If you’ve never tried homemade before, use this easy play dough recipe – a step-by-step guide to making my favourite dough.
Or if you need a taste-safe recipe for very young children, try this salt-free play dough recipe.
Add some puppets to tell a story with your play dough – try these printable sea creatures.
Try a salt dough recipe to make candle holders or a model.
Printable play dough play mats