Play-dough basics in 3 steps - benefits of sensory play
Updated: Apr 2, 2019
How to prepare your work station, and what tools are the best to work with, tips & tricks
This post may contain affiliate links.
Play-dough basics in 3 steps
Step #1: Get a good play-dough #recipe
For recipes and tips & tricks check out my previous post.
Step #2: Play-dough tools & #playdoughinvitations
I prefer the rule "less is more" - My experience is, that too much things can confuse the child and instead of making them happy, it will cause them frustration. So I only give my son about 3-4 tools to play with, and let him explore the possibilities with these "limited choices". I really like the philosophy of #Montessori, who used to give the kids only simple toys to allow them to deepen their exploration with that object. As a long term benefit, it helps the child to develop their self-esteem and improve their problem solving skills.
What kind of #tools could be used for Play-dough? - Actually, anything!
Low budget solution: dollar store, or check your kitchen first! Some ideas we had:
Cookie cutters set (mine is from Michaels)
dollar store play-dough tools kit with different cutters - the funniest thing in the kit was this orange-blue extruder machine which can make funny shapes
roller, plastic scissor, mini kitchen knife & fork
massage roller from a dollar store
another set of cookie cutter
If you still feel lost, check my Pinterest selection on Play-dough activities and play invitations.
Step #3: Prepare your work station
Yes, it will be a messy project! And some kids just cannot stay in one spot (at least my son loves running around with the play-dough in his hand ...), so it is good to be prepared if you don't want the play-dough area get messy everywhere.
I am using this two-sided waterproof play mat to cover at least around the working table (because we have carpets...). Accidents still happen as you can see on the last picture. The easiest way to remove the play-dough (when it is fresh) with a soapy sponge. If it dries out, it will break easily and becomes difficult to get it out from the carpet. And actually the tiny play-dough pieces like to stick on the socks too :)
#Benefit of play-dough
I have already mentioned the huge mental & emotional benefits of letting the kid playing with a dough. Not just the fact, that the kid is being in a free flow while playing and such building its self-esteem, capability and confidence. But at the same time play-dough is a very effective stress reliever, and it is often used in #therapies.
#Clay is similar to the play-dough, and interestingly the #PositiveDiscipline method uses it as an activity (in its "The Anger Wheel of Choice", so called "Mash clay") to help the child to overcome their emotional outbreak. "The Anger Wheel of Choice" offers creative acting tools for the parents to help the child to express and relieve their anger in a natural way.
I found these Positive Discipline parenting cards very helpful!
Enjoy your precious time with play-dough!