Playdoh – one of the best “toys” for your preschooler!
Playdoh, every parents’ nightmare, every child’s dream. Playdoh is such fun for children. As a parent, I know how much trouble it can be, playdoh in the cracks of your hardwood floors, and in your carpet, ugh.
Despite the challenges, the rewards for your child will outweigh the difficulties for you, hard to believe but so true.
Children are not born with fine motor control. The process begins early, infants and toddlers reach for toys or their parent. The development and coordination that is required to write comes with practice, lots of it. Children need to develop their fine muscles and then practice using those muscles.
Adults can help by providing young children with the necessary tools and materials, one of which is playdoh. Playdoh helps children develop strength and dexterity in their hands. The process of pinching, rolling, and shaping playdoh helps children to develop the muscles in their fingers, hands, and wrists, all necessary to write words.
Playdoh is an open-ended material, meaning there is no right or wrong way to play with it, hence the appeal for so many children. Playdoh helps to develop the fine motor skills, but it also gives children an opportunity to practice and develop math skills as well.
When I had small children, I allowed them time to play playdoh, they would play with it for long periods of time. Once I had established the ground rules, it was beneficial to me since they were occupied and I could get things done. One of my ground rules included where they could play with the playdoh, ONLY in the kitchen. In the beginning I needed to monitor it, but after a bit, it was followed every time. I always strictly followed a life mantra of mine, “Mean what you say, and say what you mean.” If they left the kitchen with the playdoh, then they forfeited the playdoh, every time. It only needed to happen a few times and then they knew I meant it (which in my opinion is the secret to getting your child to listen to you – if they know you mean it, then they know you mean it).
Playdoh can be made at home; another great learning experience is you encourage the help of your preschooler when you make it. The recipe follows. Hopefully, you will give your child the opportunity to develop their body and minds with this wonderful medium.
1 cup flour
½ cup salt
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup water (color is added to this, we use paste colors for an intense color)
Stir all ingredients in medium saucepan over medium heat until forms a ball. Take off heat and knead 5 to 6 times. Ready to use.