Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Importance of Play Dough

Did you know the original Playdoh was suppose to be wallpaper cleaner?
And, that it was invented in 1956 and only came in off white color?
And, that 700 million pounds of Playdoh have been sold since then?  Wow!
And, that National Playdoh Day is September 18?

In my preschool classroom, the students always have access to play dough during their play times.  I have found that it is important for teachers to offer it daily for the following reasons.

1. Parents don't always allow it at home mostly because it is messy.
2.  It is a great fine motor and hand muscle exercises.  Molding, cutting, pushing, rolling all help little muscle and can even get out a little aggression.
 3.  It can help improve social skills as student work together.
4.  Students can work on letter recognition by using cookie cutter letters or rolling dough into a worm to form letter.  Here is some neat play dough letter mats. from 1+1=1 and more here
5.  Children use problem solving skills by exploring the properties of the dough.
6.  Pay dough encourages creativity.
yes, this is our gingerbread girl with a Christmas tree dress.  My daughter also added texture to her dress with a seashell.
Here is an NAEYC article showing how play dough meets learning standards.

TOOLS- rolling pins, hammer. blocks, cookie cutters, scissors, knives, store bought play sets (my favs are dentist and hair cutting).
ADD INS- food coloring, kool-aid for color and smell, peppermint sent (fun at Christmas time), other familiar smells, textures like coffee, glitter, beads
RECIPES- you have to experiment to find the recipe you like best.  I like the cooked recipe using cream of tartar but many teachers like the no cook recipe  so they can make it with the class.
NEAT LINKS- here are a couple of cute ideas I recently found

If you have a fun or unique idea you use with playdough, please share it.

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