You may wonder why playdough is such an important part of the Early Childhood Education and Care setting. What benefits can it really represent for children? Let’s see…
When children use their hands, fingers, and tools to pound, push, poke, shape, roll and cut the playdough, they are developing the small muscles in their fingers and hands. Through these manipulations, children develop eye-hand coordination. These are critical areas of physical development for writing, drawing and other purposes.
Using playdough supports children’s capacity to be creative. Creativity is a very important life skill that helps children develop strategies to overcome novel problems and find solutions. Playdough use also stimulates curiosity, another important life skill and character strength.
Creating with playdough supports children to feel competent and proud of their accomplishments. It is a great outlet for children to express their emotions. Playing with playdough in small groups and/or with adults presents lots of possibilities for talk and discussion, playing collaboratively, problem solving and planning with others.
Through playdough, children build their vocabulary, practice listening to and talking with friends, siblings, and adults. When the two of you make a batch of playdough together, your child learns about print and why people write. Following the recipe helps children to connect written and spoken words and learn that writing can be used for different purposes. When children are playing with playdough, they are measuring, counting, sorting, classifying and learning about shapes.