6 Benefits of Playing with Playdough

Playing with playdough provides many benefits for young children and toddlers.

Playdough is a classic childhood favourite that’s been around for many years and provides hours of fun. It’s the perfect play activity – it’s squishy, colourful and there’s no wrong or right way to play.

Next time your children are having a great time (and making mess!) remind yourself about these fantastic benefits.

1. Develops Fine Motor Skills

Developing finger muscles and having proper finger control is an important first step to learning how to write at school.

Playdough builds strength in your child’s hands. Rolling, squishing, moulding, breaking, flattening and the rest helps to develop muscles that are used for fine motor movements.

These muscles are very important for future skills such as holding a pencil and using scissors.

2. Emotional regulation

Playing with playdough is good for helping calm down kids. It can release excess energy, help to ease tension and improve focus. Next time you have a child who is feeling stressed get out the play dough.

3. Encourages creativity

Playdough can be pizza, cake, a mountain for dinosaurs to stomp on – the creations are endless! Play dough encourages your child to create from scratch; it stretches their imagination and makes them think innovatively.

4. Hand-eye coordination

Many times we bring out different materials and tools for children to use with play dough. Items such as cookie cutters, plastic knives, rolling pins, scissors etc. are different sizes and all require your child to play with them differently and doing this helps to develop your child’s hand-eye coordination

5. Improves social skills

Play in general is a great opportunity for your child to practice their social skills. And playdough is a perfect example of this; sharing colours and tools and spending time together chatting about their creations and even working together are great practice. And because there is no right or wrong way to play, it’s excellent for building self-esteem.

6. Literacy and numeracy skills

While children work on their creations they form new ideas and concepts. Through this they learn new words such as “squish, squeeze, roll, flatten” as well as words to describe what they’re creating.

Roll the dough into a long snake so they can shape them into letters and shapes (with the help of an adult).

Making playdough together from scratch is a fun way to explore measuring, mixing and experimenting. Get them involved and watch what happens when the gooey mixture transforms into playdough!